N is for Nativity
The “Christmas Season” is upon us. I put “Christmas Season” is quotation marks because Christmas begins on December 25 and ends on January 5th, the eve of Theophany. We celebrate the 12 days of Christmas here.
Right now as I type this we’re deep into Advent. Advent means “coming”. Advent is the time of preparing for the coming of the Lord. We’re waiting and preparing for Emmanuel. In the Orthodox Church it is known as “little lent”. Great Lent is the time of preparation for the joyous Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior.
I love advent. I love the idea of preparing my heart to receive this great gift from God: the gift of Himself: God made flesh. One thing that we’ve done in the past is an advent chain. This chain has 40 links and each link contains a bible passage that points to the coming of the Lord. Weeks are noted by alternating red and green rings. Feast days are noted by purple links and the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior is white.
This year we are not doing the advent chain and I really miss it. I miss the intentional focus of remembering what the Nativity means. Yes we celebrate the birth of Christ but it isn’t just a “birth day”. It has deep theological meaning. Jesus Christ, the 2nd person of the Trinity, came down from heaven and became man. Became Man. Those words are so important to our salvation. If God had not become man, man could not be redeemed. The fall of Adam and Eve affected every area of Creation. The Creator must become creation. “He became man, so that we might become like God.”
The Feast of the Nativity is just over a week away. I still have much to do. I need to get my photo cards addressed and mailed out. (yes Photo Cards. me. Photos. I broke down and we did a family picture and created photo Christmas cards.) I still have gifts to make and gifts to wrap and I might even have a gift or two to purchase. I have cookies to bake and menus to plan. Groceries to buy.
I am so glad that Christmas lasts 12 days because there is just so much to do and to celebrate. I am also glad that I still have a few more days to prepare my heart and ponder the mysteries of the coming of Emmanuel.