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I don't normally watch the morning network programs. I appreciate the 15 minutes of news that they start with, but the following hours of fluff are more than I can take.

But on Thanksgiving morning I was in a hotel room, with no food preparations awaiting me, so I had the TV on.

One of the stations had a live panel answering 911 questions from viewers. "How do I make the skin crispy." "How do I make sausage stuffing." "What can I do instead of a pumpkin pie when I've run out of time."

It occurred to me that if your question at 9 am on Thanksgiving morning is "what can I do instead of a pumpkin pie when I've run out time, " then you really just need to give up and make other arrangements, and more importantly, start earlier next year.

It takes time to prepare. The right supplies have to be available. There needs to be a schedule and a plan of action. Magnificent things rarely happen without preparation.

God has always prepared the way for magnificent things.

God prepared each of the participants in the Christmas story through dreams, prophecies, and angelic visits. Our earthly preparations for Christmas are a little more mundane. Still, Advent is the season for preparation.

If you're like the woman with the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie problem and think you've run out time, take heart. Christmas doesn't really start until December 25.

We're still in the time of preparation. Prepare yourself for the celebration of God's gift to us.

- Ann Iona Warner

St. Stephen's will be celebrating with worship at 7 pm on Thursday, December 24. We welcome all who are able to join us that day.

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