Last week I was in December Shock. I couldn't believe my calendar was saying December and the reality of Christmas hit me in the face. I wish I could be one of those people who:
- shops all year round,
- knows what decorations would look perfect in my home
- makes homemade gifts with ease.
Reality again, though? I am one of those people who:
- shops in December. Oh, I have shopped earlier. I've also forgotten why I've gotten certain gifts, to whom they belonged and where I've even stored them.
- did not receive the 'interior decorating gene'
- just can't.
But, it's a wonderful time of the year and I embrace all the beauty and even craziness of our schedule. I can't get too serious about some of the things that can tempt us to stress because that is just contrary to the meaning of Christmas.
As our family lights the second candle of the Advent wreath this week, we continue to think on this Christmas meaning. This week's candle can stand for several things; one of which is Preparation.
As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
Luke 3: 4-6
Not being as prepared for Christmas as some others may cause a bit more stress in my life, but it isn't anything that will hopefully ruin this beautiful time of the year. Most of these "must-do's" are really a lot of fun, right? Oh, please don't make me go to another joy-filled party or eat another delicious Christmas cookie or purchase a really fun gift! Everything will turn out all right if I end up buying a pie instead of making it, not creating all my gifts and finishing up the shopping list on December 24. Sometimes being prepared, or not, just isn't a life or death issue.
And, yet, other times it is.
In Matthew 25, Jesus tells a parable about ten virgins, five wise and five foolish. They each knew the bridegroom was coming, but only half of them were wise enough to prepare ahead and have oil in their lamps. When the foolish virgins heard that the bridegroom had finally arrived, they had to leave for more oil; they weren't prepared for Him. Jesus' last word on this was:
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Matthew 25: 13
The Day of Salvation is at hand, according to Hebrews, and we must have preparations made. This means that if Jesus has been showing you sin that needs to be dealt with, do it now. Don't let another day pass on that. If you have heard the gospel of Christ and think you can follow Him 'another day', why are you waiting? If you've really heard the good news, you won't want to miss a single moment with Him. And, if you have let your first love grow cold, pray now for God to re-ignite that flame. Jesus has come to give us life and to give it to us abundantly. Let's embrace that and make plans now for all eternity with Him.