My apologies for getting behind (again!) with my On-Line Advent Calendar. This happened last year as well so I guess it’s becoming a Christmas tradition! But in an effort to catch up, I offer a quote from writer Edward Hays, a Catholic who who wrote a devotional entitled A Pilgrim’s Almanac. In it he reminds us of a daily ‘examination’ that is perfect not only for Advent but the whole year through. He writes,
“Daily we can make an Advent examination. Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts.
So how do we do that? Perhaps the best place to begin is to be reminded of the two basic questions that the Christmas story answers. The first question is this: 1. How did the Son of God come to earth? Now we know the answer to that. The Son of God came to earth in flesh. It’s the Incarnation. God made flesh. The second question is just as important and in some ways more important: 2. Why did the Son of God come to earth? The Answer: Reconciliation. Now the need for reconciliation between God and His creation implies of course an already existing state of strife and disharmony. A gigantic rupture has taken place dislocating the relationship between God and man – and throwing into disarray the whole created order. Christianity asserts that the only way that rupture can be healed and the dislocation be put back is through the Gospel message of Grace. Be reminded of that as we ramp up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.