Friday, December 19, 2008
Preparing for Christmas
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. (John 12:46)
It’s coming—and soon. Yep, Christmas is just around the corner. Are you ready? Are you ready on the inside?
Most people have their “to do” lists of gifts to buy, baking, decorating, card sending, arranging for travel or overnight guests, and more. There’s the company party and the neighbors annual gathering, and oh—your five-year-old niece’s concert to attend, and your singles group potluck, and….Did I forget something? You can see the glazed look in the eyes of many shoppers as they scuttle from one store to the next looking for the perfect gift two days before the Big Day. Perhaps it’s the plethora of holiday treats that has others in high gear from the sugar overload. Christmas doesn’t just happen, they say, there’s a lot to do—planning, organizing, and setting up to make sure you are ready, prepared, for that special time.
Amidst the holiday bustle and rush, there is a still small voice that urges you to “prepare Him room.” You prepare everything else, how about your heart? Isaac Watts’ familiar carol admonishes us:
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let Earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room…”
Remember the holiday classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?” The grumpy Grinch discovered a priceless lesson about Christmas. It isn’t about the stuff; it’s a heart attitude. “Christmas,” he learned, “doesn’t come from a store.” Despite the fact that this mean green man took all their gifts, decorations, bangles, and baubles, Christmas came anyways. And the Whos down in Who-ville were still joyful despite their lack! They gathered Christmas morning in a circle, holding hands and singing. Stuff or no stuff, they created community and celebrated!
In these last few days before Christmas, take some time to prepare your heart not just your home to receive the One who came to change everything. Some people light an Advent wreath to remember. Others read special books on the season or the Luke 1 account of how Jesus Christ came as a baby, an infant, to a cold, lonely place to save the world. I enjoy sitting by a warm fire or candles and listening to Christmas music to relax and remember.
Light came into darkness.
Love came to save.
Come, let us adore Him.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.