The Christmas ornaments and decorations have been on display racks for weeks now – in some places, before Halloween the decorations. Soon, select radio stations will be in their holiday-music-only mode; the Hallmark channel will run Christmas themed romances and other channels will reserve early evening slots for animated holiday classics. Twinkling lights, pine scented candles, and so many gift items in stock will reshape my local plazas and malls. I’ll enjoy my fair share of it, but I’m old enough now to know that none of it can feed my soul. All these holiday things don’t light my road to Bethlehem: their brightness obscures it. If I’m not careful and alert, I’ll miss the starlit path that leads to the hope of the world. I don’t want to lose Advent in tinsel and jingle bells.
To put my feet on the road to the manger, to sharpen my eyes to see angels and shepherds, to listen for the wisdom of the prophets, I’ll set aside time every day – time for quiet reading, reflection, and prayer. Time to listen. Time to hope.
Come December, I hope you’ll join me. Many friends will offer their gifts of reflection and beauty to guide us on the road to Bethlehem. The Christ Child awaits us.