Christmas Eve Morning
It is Christmas Eve. It is morning. I remember as a child my mother wanted the house to be quiet early in the morning on Christmas Eve. Of course, for me at the time, that was very hard to do, but it beat cleaning and helping with the final household chores in preparation for Christmas. Being ‘invited’ to be quiet, plug in the Christmas tree and marvel at its beauty brought a sense of peace and joy; it also increased the anticipation of the fun to come.
The readings for Christmas eve morning extend an invitation to be quiet and listen carefully. Both Samuel and Luke tell the story of two men who are thankful, and want to show their gratitude to their God. Samuel tells the story of David, finally attaining peace after the conquest of Jerusalem; Luke tells the story of Zechariah as he proclaims the birth of his son, John. Both men have it right about wanting to show repayment in their joy; yet, both have to listen carefully to what God actually wants from them.
David has the plan to build God a stable strong structure for the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God’s presence, no longer having it reside in a humble tent. Luckily, he has a good spiritual consultant and guide in Nathan. Nope, that is not what God wants from David. Nathan consoles him by inviting him to continue to be good at what God has blessed him to be good at in leading the people of Israel. David and his descendants will be blessed for many generations to come; one of them will build the stable structure.
Zechariah has been struggling to understand God’s plan for his son, John. His spiritual consultant and guide is his wife, Elizabeth, of the House of David. He does listen to her. He comes to understand that his son has a mission that he must fulfill that is in relationship to the child to be born of Elizabeth’s cousin, Mary. Not sure what the mission is, there is a promise that is to unfold.
Gratitude that leads to the desire to want to do more for God and God’s people. It is important to have good spiritual consultants in our lives keeping us honest about what it is we are to be about. Most often, it is going about our daily responsibilities, doing what needs to be done, because God made us for this.
It’s Christmas eve morning. Spend a little quiet time. Marvel at what God has done with and through you. Enjoy it! Let the anticipation grow for what is to come.
Sr. Sharon M. Howell, CSJ, Assistant Dean of Students