Getting (Sort of) Ready to Celebrate Christ’s Birth

the-nativity-by-gerard-van-honthorst1In two days Advent begins and with it comes that stress-inducing question: Are you ready for Christmas? Those words produce a flurry of images—shopping, decorating, baking, Christmas cards, and list making—that sends chills of expectations through my soul. I’m overwhelmed before I begin. How will I ever do it all?

So I’ve decided that when anyone asks me that question, no matter what I’ve done or haven’t done, I’m going to say “YES!” Because I am ready to celebrate Christ’s birth.

An Advent Prayer

Jesus, I am ready. 

I am ready to meet you daily…
      reflect on your birth,
      and notice how your story impacts mine.

 I am ready to be silent…
     and let myself adore you. 

I am ready to wonder.
     How would you like to be celebrated?
     What gifts shall we give?

I am ready to let go…
     of things on my list that aren’t on yours.

I am ready to gather with others…
      to sing, worship, and celebrate. 

I am ready to welcome and receive…
    all of who you are
    and all of who I am.

 And that means…

I am ready to do all these things
     the only way I can
    imperfectly and inconsistently. 

Come thou long-expected Jesus.
Come now.
Don’t wait until I’m ready. 

*        *        *

Looking for some new reflective readings for Advent?

Magi Complete KellyPopcorn with a Spoon will be posting daily Advent readings called Face to Face. It is a compilation of family friendly (but not dumbed down) reflections written by six women from New Life Community Church in Burnaby, B.C., Canada: Kelly Dycavinu, Esther Hizsa, Susan Horikiri, Tanya Eichler, Kathy Krahn, and Linda Smythe.

If you would like to download the booklet here.

Godspace advent imageGodspace will be posting reflections under the theme Coming Home: Uncovering our Roots in the Advent Story. Contributors are from around the world—Australia, South Africa, Britain, U.S. and Canada—so will share a great array of perspectives that will be both thought-provoking and enriching. Periodically they will also add music, prayers and liturgies. You will also be able to access it on Facebook.

I have contributed guest posts on both blogs (Godspace: Monday Dec 2; Popcorn with a Spoon: the first one will be on Friday Dec 6). I will let you know when my other reflections are published.

“The Nativity” by Gerard van Honthorst 1592–1656
“An Advent Prayer” by Esther Hizsa, 2013.
“Magi” by Kelly Dycavinu. Used by permission © Kelly Dycavinu and Popcorn with a Spoon, 2011-2013.
“Advent Prayer Garden” by Christine Sine Used by permission © Christine Sine and Godspace, 2013
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2013.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Advent, Christmas, Poetry, Popular Posts, Poverty of Spirit, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Getting (Sort of) Ready to Celebrate Christ’s Birth

  1. “Come thou long-expected Jesus. Come now. Don’t wait until I’m ready.”
    I love it, Esther! The whole poem/prayer, but the last stanza especially… reminds me of the lyrics in Come Ye Sinners… “If you tarry until you’re better, you will never come at all.” (the song version by Cambridge is my favourite).


  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you , Esther. Ready! Waiting! For Emmanuel ! God is with us – come Emmanuel ! Our choir is singing these words this am as is also our congregation ( the regular hymn ) the words and melody have been going thru my mind all week –to be ready each day however the day unfolds for us . Thank you for your thoughts, Linda


  3. Mary Gemmill says:

    Hi Esther- I am a new subscriber and you asked me to introduce myself. My name is Mary,, I am near retirement age, and have been a Christian most of my life. Over the years I have experienced many different ways of worship, and what appeals to me most is the contemplative life. I don’t have a blog, but read many, and am especially drawn to ones like yours where there is an element of exploring our faith. I am not good with finding words for what I experience, so am deeply blessed when others put things into words for me.
    when I stumbled across your post and read these words, I thought- now here is a blog for me:
    I am ready to welcome and receive…
    all of who you are
    and all of who I am.

    And that means…

    I am ready to do all these things
    the only way I can—
    imperfectly and inconsistently.

    Come thou long-expected Jesus.
    Come now.
    Don’t wait until I’m ready.

    Yes yes and yes !
    I will comment from time to time when something especially touches my heart.

    Mary, New Zealand, sending you blessings and appreciation 🙂


    • Esther Hizsa says:

      Hi Mary,
      So wonderful to meet you. Thank you for finding the words to express your heart and encourage mine. Welcome, welcome. I have more to say in my next post about the part you quoted,. so I am excited to hear how this touched you.
      In our sailing pilgrimage many years ago our family spent 5 months in New Zealand in the Bay of Islands. We loved your country, the landscape and the people we met.
      May God continue to bless and fill all your “yeses.”


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