Advent is soon behind us and Christmas enters the scene. Advent used to be a fasting time, a preparation time, not just to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but also a time when we should reflect on our lives, meditate and find out if we are in such an internal condition that we would dare to come out and meet the Lord when he re-turns. To be ready to welcome Jesus Christ when he comes at the end of time it is necessary that we already start tidying a room for him in our hearts now.
In many places all over the world it is common that one sends a picture or a statue of the Holy Family from house to house in advent; they are looking for an inn, just like that time two thousand years ago in Bethlehem. And families open their homes to the Saviour, and to his Mother and Father. They open their hearts to Jesus. When their hearts are prepared and cleansed to be able to welcome Him, then they can with greatest joy celebrate the Saviour’s birth when Christmas approaches. Angelus Silesius, a poet from Silesia, wrote in one of his poems “If Jesus were born thousand times in Bethlehem, but not born in me, then I would stay on damnation’s road for ever”. But He was born in a manger two thou-sand years ago and lived on Earth for 33 years to complete His work of salvation. And since He has been born again in innumerable human hearts, which found peace and true joy at the manger, and by the Cross and the empty tomb – they found salvation and eternal life. At Christmas we give each other gifts, gifts which remind us of Jesus, the Son of God who was born man. He himself is our Christmas present; he gives himself for us, for our salva-tion, and he does not want any other gift back from us, than ourselves – than a place in our hearts. We shall give him this place. And then he will come, as he promised, when he knocks on our hearts’ doors and we open the door for him. And we pray; using the words of the Norwegian carol:
”Akk, kom, jeg opp vil lukke mitt hjerte og mitt sinn,
med tusen lengselssukke: Kom, Jesu, dog her inn!
Det er ei fremmed bolig, du har den selv jo kjøpt.
Så skal du blive trolig her i mitt hjerte svøpt.
Jeg vil med palmegrene ditt hvilested bestrø.
For deg, for deg alene, jeg leve vil og dø.
Kom, la min sjel dog finne sin rette frydestund,
at du er født her inne, i hjertets dype grunn.”
I wish you all joyous and blessed celebration of the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Alois, Your Parish Priest
Nativity. By Solrunn Nes