I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in Miami with my family and my sister-in-law’s family to celebrate the upcoming birth of my nephew. We had a shower for Baby Hart and were able to spend some time together as a family before they become parents. I was fortunate enough to fly in on Thursday afternoon before everyone arrived so that I could spend some time with Ray and Alli, just the three of us, well the five of us if you include their two dogs, my four-legged nephew and niece. Of all the family on both sides, it is very unlikely I will see both of them before the baby is born, although Ray will be here for the ordination.
Over dinner on Thursday night, Ray and I had an interesting exchange. I asked him if he was ready to be a father and in turn, he asked me if I was ready to be a priest. We both answered something like, as ready as I can be, and it is coming no matter what. I can’t exactly slow down time or tell Bishop Waldo to wait. Ray and Alli can’t keep Baby Hart from coming, even if it means he ends up coming early. I heard him tell several people over the weekend that they are not nervous about things as much as anticipating the arrival. I thought it was perfect for both of our situations. As much of control freaks as Ray and I both can be, we trust God and God’s timing.
Ray and Alli are in a time of preparation for Baby Hart to arrive. Their guest room is being converted to a nursery. Alli had her baby shower at work as well as the shower with her family and close friends. Alli is almost to the point where she will not be able to travel, in fact they switched their holidays, so they were with our family for Thanksgiving and will remain close to Miami with her family for Christmas. They have virtually toured the birthing suites at the hospital and have been taking virtual classes in preparation for the arrival of this precious child. Alli sends us updates on a regular basis on how big the baby is and what is going on with his growth. They have taken all the precautions necessary. She is taking her prenatal vitamins and getting as much rest as possible. They are waiting for Baby Hart to be born and wondering what parenthood will be like.
During the season of Advent, we wait and hope for the Christ Child. We look forward to hearing the stories again and hope we will hear something new and different. We prepare our homes as we decorate with trees and mangers. We celebrate with friends and family. We may send out Christmas cards. At the same time, we are also waiting and hoping for the return of Christ at the end of time.
May we await with joy and expectation the coming of the Christ Child and Christ’s second coming.