As I watch Suzy work so hard to make our house perfect for Christmas Day, and I ask stupid questions like “Do we really need a new center piece?” I think about my many years of Christmases at my grandmother’s, my mother’s, and Suzy’s homes. No matter how I think everything is ready, it never is until the last minute. It’s as if there was no place in the Inn on that first Christmas day, and we have been trying to make up for it ever since. There must be plenty of food, the guest room must be perfect, and everything in perfect order. Isn’t it wonderful?
Which brings me to my second observation. About this time of year every year, everyone seems to be out of patience. Little kids can’t wait for Santa, older kids can’t wait for Christmas vacation, shoppers are not as friendly and eager to give up a vacant parking place, clerks seem frazzled, employees are ready to leave work, and even the ever patient Suzy seems a little edgy when I ask, “Do we really need a new center piece?”
The answer to our short term anxiety and the message of the season is the same. Joseph whispered it to Mary, we tell our children, we tell ourselves when we sense our patience has reached its end. God tells us all.
Help is near. Peace will come. We need not go anywhere to find it. Help is near. Peace will come.