It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…if you go shopping that is.
While I may be not-so-secretly listening to the occasional Christmas tune I have not yet begun to really think about Christmas celebrations. I’ve planned all my services and have outlines at the ready but that’s different I think. That’s just working ahead. I haven’t begun buying presents or decorating. The retailers however would like me to start. Christmas is the holiday for retailers. There is no other holiday that rivals it’s mass consumption. Easter is trying but Christmas takes the cake. Every year around Christmas we see the constant advertisements and hear the music and get swept up in the season that is Christmas.
For those of us who are Christian, Christmas is about more than a jolly man in a red suit with 8 flying reindeer. Christmas is about a baby who comes and changes our world. Christmas is the beginning of God’s journey on earth with us. It’s a beautiful beginning with angels and shepherds and a little later on some wise guys who bring great gifts. Christmas is a beautiful, easy beginning to a difficult journey. Why do I say it’s easy? That’s simple. God comes in the form of a baby. A baby who can’t say anything or contribute anything. All he can really do is sit in that manger and look pretty.
Christmas is the easy holiday for Christians. It’s the reason there are 50% more people in the pews on Christmas Eve than any other time of the year. A baby cannot ask anything of you. The baby who comes with a promise but has not actually got the ability to challenge you personally as he lives out that promise is a lot more agreeable to most people than the man that baby grew up to be. None of us like to be challenged and none of us really want to be told we need to change.
When you begin preparations this month remember you’re not just celebrating a baby, you’re celebrating the birth of God-as-man and he would change the world. The entrance of God is something to celebrate. The entrance of God may be easy but the presence of God is not. Invite God in this month. Invite God in before Advent begins and meet God as God is. Read a little about the man this baby would become. One of my favorite places to read about this man is in the book of Matthew. I am particularly fond of chapter 6 if you’re looking for a starting point as every time I read it I find it challenges me to think about things differently. That’s the thing about Jesus, he challenges and he changes you.
Are you ready for change?
Are you ready to be challenged?
How do you plan to prepare for the advent of God-as-man on earth?