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img_1726In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world…..She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:1,7

Visualize the calendar.  How does it look in your mind-think mental imagery?  A grid with numbers neatly arranged in rows?  Is it the traditional twelve month calendar–or is it in a circle,  work related, does it have birthdays and holidays listed?  What influences your calendar the most–family, work, religious powers,  political authority?

Our ability to see is literal and figurative, in that our brains can generate images regardless of whether or not we are physically seeing an object with our eyes.  

The calendar in my mind is darker for November and December.  Is that because of the “fall back” time change?  The edges of my rectangular months are blurred.  Perhaps it is the continual to-do lists and must-do activities.

Planning is a prerequisite for this time.  Concrete time blocks-written in the squares months in advance.  I believe it has been for years–decades–centuries.  Food, travel, –proper protocol is necessary; even entertainment requires it-(music-sports), appropriate clothing is carefully considered for each occasion. Food is a high priority.  It must be in accordance with the highest standards!  

I am thinking about my own journey to Christmas this year…weekends are full of family and church events, two parties at the house (not including the usual family things,) menu keeps revolving/changing, the grocery loves seeing me peering over the deli and bakery counter, while I wait for my meat,– I ponder over sending the best gift to relatives far away, and then I have the usual anxiety over Chicago winter weather, hoping that everyone can travel safely to their destination.

There have been a thousand sermons on leaving room for Christ.  What about Mary and Joseph?  The weary couple who are about to have a baby…the unannounced event in the next few weeks that does not fit in the schedule…that is a whole lot of inconvenient.  At work. At home.

The weary couple knock–and I look at my blurry edged calendar….

This poem says it well (see when written)

As Angelus Silesius, a 17th-century poet, wrote, “Though Christ a thousand times/ In Bethlehem be born,/ If he’s not born in thee/ Thy soul is still forlorn.” Let me tell you that if you let that Guest into your inner sanctum, even if you put him in the very back, he will surely take over and become the center of attention in due course.

Prayer: Lord, Come to the center of my attention.  Amen.