As a child the 23rd of December had special meaning in our home. We called it “Little Christmas Eve.” The family tradition was that “everything” would be “ready” for Christmas, we’d have a special evening meal, and everyone would get to open one present. I’m sure that I didn’t really comprehend what “everything” really meant – not fully aware of all the preparations that were being made for Christmas. I’m also sure that I didn’t really comprehend what “ready” really meant. But, I surely looked forward to “Little Christmas Eve.”
Sure enough, later in life I learned that “Little Christmas Eve” was a real tradition in Norwegian-American homes. And recently, I see, even Wikipedia tells us this: December 23 also has special status as "Little Christmas Eve". Many use this day to decorate the Christmas Tree if they have not already done so. Some allow children to open one little present as a teaser for the day to come. Well, then, it must be true.
As we turn the calendar today to December 23rd ponder what it means for “everything” to be “ready.” What did this mean for Joseph and Mary? What did this mean for God? What does it mean for you today? What does it mean for the church office, the pastor, the church musicians? And on the homefront – do you have everything ready?
It generally takes all four weeks, and all four candles, to fully grasp the depth and power and wisdom of Advent. Lamentations 3:26 reminds us, “It is good that one should quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Luke 2:6 says “…the time came for her…”
Happy December 23. In God’s way and in God’s time everything is ready.
Rev. David Halaas
St Mark, Sioux City