I've been doing a lot of reflecting, a lot of looking back, in the last few days. Today, I am beginning to look forward. As I gaze around my house at all the fall and harvest decorations, I get a little (okay, more than a little) nudgy that I need to take everything down and re-decorate for Christmas VERY soon. Yes. Christmas. I know that many of my friends have already begun the transformation in their own homes, but I am not usually that organized, together, or ready to get all Christmas-y before now. We usually like to get our December birthdays out of the way before we go all out, although, as Sarah has gotten older, she doesn't mind the crossover of seasons, so I have actually started decorating at the very beginning of the month, instead of waiting until mid-December.
But this Sunday heralds in Advent, the new year in the church (for liturgical churches such as ours). And I need to begin to move my heart towards Christmas, towards the celebration of the Christ Child. So, as I begin to pack away the pumpkins and the golden leaves and the cornucopia, I quiet my soul and turn my thoughts towards the manger. As I unpack the Advent Wreath and the candles, the greens and all manner of sparkly things, I also begin to prepare my heart for the coming season. For the wonder of it all, for the gift of new life, for the ultimate sacrifice that lay, wrapped and tiny, in a stall. I look forward to Grace, to God made man - the ultimate miracle.
And I quiet my heart, and prepare to wait. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.