Several years ago I was privileged to attend an elementary school Christmas concert. Having gone to many a public school Christmas concert and not so many Catholic schools Christmas concerts, I am never sure quite what to expect.
When we hear the word Christmas concert we expect typical Christmas music, a mix of non-religious and religious. With today’s somewhat lack of realization and acknowledgement of the real reason for the season one would expect the majority of the music to be non-religious. But last night proved to be a pleasant surprise. With a brave priest and music minister leading the way and a Catholic school to boot, we were treated to a wonderful Advent celebration with many reminders of what this season of Advent is all about, PREPARATION.
The reason I mention our priest and music minister is because in this time when most people focus on the hustle and bustle of the commercial aspects of the Christmas season, these two people stand above the fray and focus on Advent and the coming of the savior.
I must humbly admit that they are braver than I. As much as I would like to spend this month wholly focusing on Advent and preparing my heart for Christ, I get sucked into the commercial Christmas thing. I don’t spend as much time focusing on the things of God and get distracted by the things of the world.
Fortunately for me as well as the other lives that my priest and music minister touch, through their devotion and practices I am reminded of what this season is.
Last night’s concert presented music from the Advent/Christmas cantata We Shall Prepare, by Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt. We traveled through the Bible recalling prophets of the past and their commitment to God in spite of the world. We were reminded of our roots, of Noah, building a boat while the world laughed. We saw Moses stand up to the pharaoh and set his people free. A young shepherd, picked by God rose to become King. A simple peasant girl becomes the mother of the Savior, a boy born to proclaim one who is to come after. And finally the birth of Christ.
As we head into this final week of Advent, may I put before you, that we each spend a little more time preparing ourselves for the birth of our Savior. I know it will be difficult and I will be the first to say that I will not be perfect here and that the world will creep in and distract me.
Let us all remember what this Advent season is all about: PREPARATION!
May the rest of your Advent be blessed with time spent with God, preparing our hearts and souls to receive the gifts He offers us. And may our hearts be open and ready when the Christmas season truly arrives on December 25.