Before our guest arrived, we had to clean up the house. Not just because it was a little messy but in order to meet the specific needs of our visitor.
Would he knock over the ornaments on the shelves he could reach? (Yes). Would he try and eat any food left out in the open? (Yes). Would he shed on the furniture? (Yes). But it wasn’t all about protecting ourselves from the furry invasion of a friend’s cat. We also tried to do what we could to make him feel safe, welcome, and part of the family for his stay with us. That has meant adjusting to the demands that this addition to our household makes on our time and energy. That little voice calling in the night for comfort and companionship is both annoying and touching. Guests require our attention.
As we draw near to a Christmas when we will not be inviting others into our homes or going elsewhere to celebrate a festive supper or party, we can still get ready for one special Guest. Dr. Bonny Henry has affirmed to children that Santa has immunity and can visit on Christmas Eve. Christians affirm to everyone that God comes to us in the amazing act we call the Incarnation here at Christmas. The Word was made flesh and come among us as Jesus of Nazareth. And every year, we are called to prepare our hearts and homes again to receive him.
So how about getting ready? Even if nobody else can see your home except as a background for a computer call, what might you do to remind yourself that Jesus is coming? What will help your heart get ready? It’s not about getting “in the mood”, but turning again to anticipate the miracle that Christmas proclaims. Christ the guest is on the way!