advent2Prepare the way of the Lord.  Make straight his paths.

Did your children notice the purple in church this week?  After so many weeks of green, seeing the priest in purple was striking.

Now do your kids know what the purple color represents?  Purple = prepare.  We see this at two times in our Church’s liturgical year – Lent, preparing for Christ’s resurrection and Advent preparing for his birth.  Preparation for the holy event builds a great anticipation that is easy for kids to understand.

Think of when they make plans for their birthdays.  Kids think about who they want to invite to their party, what kind of theme to have – Tangled or Frozen – what flavor cake, what kinds of gifts they might get.  The anticipation gets even greater as presents are wrapped, decorations put up and days counted down.

With Christmas, we need the preparations both physically and spiritually.  We need to see the tree, hear the music, smell the cookies baking, to build our anticipation but even more importantly in our hearts, we need to prepare for the birth of Christ by filling our lives with kindness and charity.  We need to share the giving experience in our children, turning their hearts from under the tree to the needs of others.

I arrived home a few days ago with presents for the children and I thought of how different their response would be on Christmas compared to if I just walked in right then and set them down, saying, “Here you go!”  They would still be surprised, to be scertain, but without the anticipation, the preparation, the waiting.  Their joy would not be as complete as it would be after counting down the days and dreaming of that special morning.

We too must prepare our hearts, anticipating, waiting, hoping so that when Christmas comes our joy may be complete in the celebration of the birth of Christ our Savior.

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