By Garrett Vickrey
Pregnancy isn’t easy. Sleepless nights where you just can’t get comfortable. Endless shopping for everything the baby might need until she goes to college. Binge eating. Guilt for said binge eating. And this is, of course, just the experience of the prospective father! Who could possibly imagine what the mother-in-waiting goes through?!
Cameron, my wife, is due to give birth on March 1. So it has been an interesting experience for her to be pregnant during this Christmas season. There’s so much to do to prepare for a baby. We have had to make space in our house, in our car, and in the roles we play in our family. We all make room together. We all have to put on a new identity as father or mother or sister to this new child.
Thank God we have had a little time to prepare. The arrival of a child should be marked by love. And love takes intent. Intent demands preparation. Which is why we prepare each Advent to receive God’s gift of love again.
We must make room. And we do so not just by clearing out things in our life that need to be let go of, but by taking on the fruits of the spirit that lead us further into communion with God. Colossians describes this by saying, “Clothe yourself in love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
We try to do that at Christmas. We give presents. We practice compassion through financial contributions and service. And we humble ourselves at the foot of a manger. Worshiping where goats and sheep feed.
Love is born when we clothe ourselves in these things: compassion, kindness, humility,
meekness, and patience. We’re going to need all of these graces to make it through the
holidays. If we do, then we just might catch a glimpse of God working to bind everything
together through the gift God gives this season.