I was visiting the primary one and primary two children on Thursday morning to celebrate classroom Advent services. In an effort to get down to their level which even at my height can be difficult we talked about birthdays and what we looked forward to on the day of our birthday. Above all it was agreed we loved presents, cards, a party with sweets, chocolate and lemonade, and that was just the teachers and classroom assistants. It was explained how the children and I hadn’t celebrated as many birthdays as their teachers. So the boys and girls were delighted to have someone in their room for once was closer to their age, instead of being over the hill. Being a child at heart I was only too delighted to talk about all the excitement involved in getting ready for Christmas when we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. However after the morning break I called into one of the Primary four classes to organise to call next week.
I began by asking had everyone their list ready for Santa. Of course I had forgotten to write and send my Santa list. In a panic I asked the primary four children was I too late to send my letter and thankfully I was told no, as long I sent the letter up the chimney. This was fine until I realised I had no chimney, so I spend Thursday afternoon looking for Santa’s email address. Before I left the primary fours I questioned them about what I should ask Santa for. I was really buzzing wondering what I should write on my list. So when the first person raised their hand I was all excited until they told me what I should ask for, aftershave. Obviously the aftershave which my mother buys must be out of date. Although it’s hard to get Brute and Old Spice these days. If this wasn’t bad enough the second person in the class said I should get new clothes, and then the third mentioned new shoes until finally I was told I should ask for new glasses as well. I must have been having a bad hair day, if only Santa could do face lifts.
From birthdays, to holidays, from Monday to Friday, from the morning to the approach of night, to the great celebration of Christmas we normally find it difficult to wait. Time often seems to stand still and every day and every hour feels like a life time. These next four weeks are a special time of preparation for Christmas as we try to make ourselves ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, God’s Son. Advent is a time when were asked to wait, to be patient and make ourselves ready not only to celebrate Jesus’ birthday but also to make ourselves ready for the time when we will meet Jesus again. Like John the Baptist the challenge is to prepare a way for the Lord. We make straight a path for Jesus to become present in our lives through our willingness to be at the service of one another building up the kingdom of God. Through baptism we have been called to be messengers of God’s love and compassion. This is the season when we asked to seek God’s forgiveness and share his mercy with one another.