“I’m just not ready for Christmas!” is a familiar complaint these days; we may have uttered it ourselves as one detail after another is added on the to-do list. Gifts, visits, greeting cards, baking, cleaning, dcor, special events? Will it all get finished in time? But the real question, the one we’re carrying around inside and often ignoring, is “Am I ready for Jesus?”
Paul’s brief but eloquent letter to Titus, a young convert from Crete who became his devoted missionary assistant, carries a memorable message for 21st century humans. Our self-imposed schedules have become so frenzied that little or no time is left for living our inner life, for reflection or for prayer. What are we really preparing ourselves for? As Paul reminds Titus, we don’t have to do anything at all to “qualify” for the greatest gift of all, God’s saving grace, “poured out on us richly” through a baby whose birth was scarcely noticed at the time. Getting ready for Christmas is less about doing things and more about being who we are because of Jesus’ presence.
Lord Jesus, help us to slow down during these last few days before the celebration of your birth, to live more quietly and mindfully in the knowledge that you are the greatest gift. Amen. — PF