This year, my kids and I put up our Christmas tree. I’m a fake tree kind of girl. As a kid, our real tree had spiders one year. So, yeah. I’m a fake tree kind of girl with no regrets. Each year, we set up our tree piece by piece, layering twinkle lights as we go. Our tree lights twinkle from early in the morning until just before the last of us heads to bed. Those little lights are beautiful all of Advent and Christmas.
This morning, our tree lights went out. I checked each strand. I even double checked them in different outlets. No luck.
Our Christmas tree, so full of light, was lifeless. Without those twinkling lights, it felt empty. A dark tree is a sad tree. Looking at it made most of us sad, too. So, off I went to find new lights. It took going to three stores, but I finally found some. In order to prep our tree for the new lights, we had to take all of it’s stuff off. I needed a blank tree so that I could put the lights on properly. It was work. And, it’s not a coincidence that this happened during the second week of Advent.
During Advent, we sometimes read Ps 126.
Part of my mass preparation is to read not only the readings but also to sit awhile with a set of psalm reflections written by Fr. Santan Pinto. The reflection for Psalm 126 spoke of how souls tested in faith will be tested in hope. “Those that sow in tears shall reap in rejoicing.” Ps 126:5. For me, being tested in hope is having to wait on what has been promised. As I find myself waiting for what has been promised this Advent, I feel like how my dark Christmas tree looked, a little empty and sad. Waiting on the Light with a spirit of hope is hard.
Also a bit like my tree, I still need some prepping before new lights can be put on.
I need more time to follow St. John into the desert as he preaches his baptism of repentance. “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Luke 3:4. In order for the Light to properly shine forth from my soul this Christmas, I need to dive more deeply in preparation and desire.
With our twinkle lights once more shining from our Christmas tree, I’m thankful. Also, I’m grateful for the little reminder that there’s still work to be done. With His grace, we all will be ready for the arrival of His Light. We will be ready to rejoice!