‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads ….
I think most of remember parts of the famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore. (The actual title of the poem is “A Visit from St. Nicholas” published in 1844.)
I love Christmas and the preparation that is part of it throughout the season of Advent….. certainly the outward preparations of buying gifts, planning dinners and parties, decorating the home, getting and putting up the tree, hoping for a white Christmas, seeing some of the old movies on T.V. Yet, the Church really helps us to go beyond old Bing Crosby movies and to keep Christ in Christmas. The Advent preparations … Advent Candles, Advent Angels, St, Andrew prayer, the beautiful decorations in the churches, the manger scenes … all help us to focus on the Lord. The scripture readings are “ever new”.
So, let’s work hard to keep our hearts on the Nativity of Christ our Lord. Read the scripture accounts of Christ’s birth, pray before the creches in our home, pray for the sick and those who have died recently during the times we gather to celebrate. Let’s us ask God to give us grace to be kind, to overlook, to smile, to not bring up the latest “bad news reports”. It’s Christmas Eve…tomorrow is Christmas. Let us rejoice.
“And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”(Luke 2: 7-14)
And with Clement Clarke Moore let us say, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”