The Pastor's Corner
By Fr. Hoffman
Advent is a time of “devout and expectant delight.” It is not yet Christmas. But it is the time when we look forward to Christmas. It is a time when we prepare for Christmas.
While there are theological reasons not to decorate for Christmas during Advent, I realize that I would likely not convince anyone not to get a head start on that decorating. Once Thanksgiving is over, I realize that all bets are off. In a later article, I will focus on encouraging people not to stop celebrating Christmas too early.
However, as we prepare our homes for Christmas, we can make sure that our decorations signify what Christmas really is. It is not just a winter holiday. We are not getting a white Christmas here anyway. It is not just a secular celebration. It is the celebration of Christ’s birth. And so, our home should reflect that this event nearly 2,000 years ago is what we celebrate.
Make sure that your decorations point toward Christ. Include a Nativity scene, or creche, in your decorations.
More important than preparing our home is preparing ourselves. Through prayer and repentance (most especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation for Catholics), we should prepare our soul. As John the Baptist reminds us in John 1:23 when he quoted Isaiah, “Make straight the way of the Lord.”
When we celebrate the birth of Christ this Christmas, we should strive to do so with a clean heart. But that does not happen by accident. It must be intentional. We must choose to prepare.