It’s Here!

Anne Pruett-Barnett

It’s here! Can you feel it in the air as you begin to make your preparations? Can you taste it in the cookies and cakes that you bake only this time of year? Can you smell it in the pine trees? Can you see it in the decorations you lovingly place around your home? Can you hear it in the carols playing everywhere you go?

It’s here! Four weeks of waiting, listening, awaking, and preparing for our celebration of Christmas when we receive God’s gracious gift wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger!

During these four weeks, called Advent on the Christian Calendar, we are submerged in the details and obligations of the season, or feeling the blues because of the season, so much so, that it seems impossible to be present to God, to open our hearts and minds to the Divine Gift of Love that embraces us and resides within us and the world.

In his book Seeing Haloes: Christmas Poems to Open the Heart, writer John Shea suggests in a poem entitled Christmas Carolers to let the music of the season speak to us. Although Shakespeare warned us that in the season of our Savior’s birth “the bird of dawning singeth all night long,” I was not ready. I opened the Gospel of Luke to do my Advent duty and read the well-thumbed infancy narratives. Obligation does not expect surprises. But the songs of the first Christmas carolers found their way inside me and became the bird of dawning, bringing morning revelations to the night of my mind.

As an offering of her arts ministry, Merideth Hite Estevez is publishing a daily devotional on Grace Church and Lumina Arts website and Facebook pages. The links will be sent to your email. A hard copy will be printed upon request. The devotionals are written by Merideth, the church staff and the Artist’s Way small group, as a gift to you this season to keep you focused on God’s gift of Love.

My prayer is that the seasonal carols, the daily devotionals, and the other opportunities listed below will find their way inside you and “become the bird of dawning, bringing morning revelations to the night of [your] mind” throughout Advent and on Christmas.

It’s here! Advent! Wait! Listen! Awake! Prepare! for the journey to Bethlehem on Christmas night! May the journey bring you great joy!