During this season of waiting for the Christ child to be born, a friend of mine has a new appreciation for Mary. She has been put to bedrest for her final days of pregnancy. If the baby can wait until Dec 23rd, its lungs will be developed enough for delivery. She has a full-time job and two other children, one in preschool. Everyone was coming to her house this year for Christmas since, at 8 months pregnant, she wold have found it more difficult to travel. Plans changed. Now, her OB says she has to mind her P’s & Q’s.
She is learning anew the three P’s of Advent – preparation, patience and perseverance. Preparation- John the Baptist’s call was for us to prepare the way of the Lord. Patience- Joseph needed patience for nine months putting up with the snickers and stares. Perseverance – Mary had to endure the long donkey ride from her home to Jerusalem for the census. Today, we need all three as well lest we get caught up in the secular chaos of the holidays.
But there are three Q’s as well. Quest- the wise men went on a journey to find Christ. So, during this season before Christmas, can we. Quake- the shepherds quaked at the sight of angels. May we be filled with Holy reverence and awe as well amidst all the tinsel and ribbon. Quiet -O’ Holy Night, all is calm. Can we find the same?
Perhaps we need to stop and rest for a few minutes off and on between now and the 25th – to mind our P’s and Q’s – and remember what this Holy season is truly all about.