The great holy days of all the Children of Abraham, the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions celebrate common themes of hope and preparation, peace and serenity, even amid tough and troubling times today.
The Jewish high holy days of forgiveness and fasting, and, similarly, days of Ramadhan for the Muslims cleansing and healing, are common threads like the Advent preparation of the God-become-man and woman in Jesus the Christ observed at Christmas, December 25th.
Before that however is the four-week period of intense preparation, hoping, and waiting for the wonders of God in Christ, one like humans in all things but sin, missing the mark, the ideal to be charitable, loving and embracing the Creator.
All of the prophets, including Isaiah hold high hope.
Isaiah tells of when the lion and lamb will lay down together without harm done one to another.
That is, peace will abound.
Flowers will bloom in the parched desert also. That is unexpected, mysterious, yet a reality.
Like the song, O Little Town of Bethlehem, that we sing during these holy holidays, we become too small to imagine and magnify the greatness of God who made us:
"You Bethlehem-Ephrathad, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule my people Israel." - Micah 5:1-2
The wholeness, oneness of God, like the single global pie the Creator made, becomes apparent as each part learnes to love every other part.
If I recognize in my tiny soul the grace, favor and blessing of God upon me, I will be able, in turn to vividly view the same Presence in the body of Jesus and the body of the universe I occupy.
"But who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Elizabeth says to Mary in a visit to her home when both are pregnant, each is full of life within. The hidden wholeness within the womb prepares me for teh bigger visitation, the revelation of the Son of God in Christ.
Yet, I must not forget that I am an experience in the huge heart of God. When I trust this holy mystery in my own self-centeredness, I share in this Presence that is overwhelming and surprising as a gift of God.
Christians ready now to prepare to make festival in what is called Advent, the coming of Christ upon the earth, the anniversary of his birth in human form, divinely shaped by God.
God enfleshes what is called the Incarnation, in Latin, God taking on human flesh.
When I trust, like Elizabeth did, the visit of Mary with child in womb, and, every other visit, life leaps within for joy!