It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Well, my Christmas lights are up. And it’s a big deal, even if the display is a little puny. You see, this is the first year I have ever put up Christmas lights. It is the first year I have ever put up a tree.

For many years growing up I helped decorate the tree. Some nights I would even plug in the lights so that, by my action, the world could see our wonderful decorations. But this year is different. If I did not put up the tree, there would be no tree. If I did not put up the lights there would be no lights. The weight of responsibility for Christmas Spirit at my house lies squarely on my shoulders!

Here we are, approaching the third week of Advent. We have been brought here by the traditions and liturgies of years gone by. We have participated in their cry “Come, Lord Jesus.” We have lit the candles that have been provided. But this year it is time for us to adopt the cry, “Come, Lord Jesus,” for ourselves. This is the Advent that we make it our own. Not simply participating in the rituals we have seen all our lives, but absorbing them, adopting, appropriating, and assimilating them

Advent provides us the opportunity to remember the hope, love, joy, and peace that Christ offers to us all. But it is up to you and me to grasp each of those gifts and make it our own. This is the cradle of the Christian faith. This is the incubator in which the Kingdom hatches.

This is the true meaning of Christmas:
Christ comes that we might have and give hope.
Christ comes that we might have and give love.
Christ comes that we might have and give joy.
Christ comes that we might have and give peace.

Christ comes.

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