Isaiah 57:14 “And it will be said, ‘Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of my people.”
If you are breathing right now, one thing you know is that Christmas coming up in just a few weeks. If you are like most people in our culture, you know one pressing reality – preparation! You are preparing your Christmas shopping list. You are preparing the cookies and other goodies that your family will be enjoying. You are preparing your time schedule to accommodate all the activities in which you want to participate.
You might not know it but the Bible is big on preparations for the coming of Christmas. In fact, God was so committed to preparation that He came up with a spiritual strategy on how the world was to be prepared for the coming of the King.
First of all, there was the ministry of the prophets. For hundreds of years, the prophets were spokesmen for God not only spelling out God’s passion for a deep, abiding, obedient relationship with His people but also articulating God’s ultimate plan of salvation through the Messiah. Then, God miraculously brought John the Baptist into the world to prepare the way for Jesus. John talked about Jesus before he was even born. He also adjusted his lifestyle to fit the message he was sharing. He prepared himself for coming of His king, in other words, this wasn’t just about calling other people to prepare, he knew God wanted to do something that would change his life as well. John would be the one who said, “he must increase I must decrease”. I don’t know about you but I have a hard time relating to such pure and righteous spiritual motivation for preparing for Jesus. The bible says that God had a plan that He was preparing to launch centuries before Jesus was actually born. It was not a surprise to God that this moment in history would bring a cataclysmic shift in the story of God’s relationship with you and me.
I wonder, how prepared are you for Christmas…really? You might have all the trimmings in place but take a moment to imagine with me…”how would you create a more meaningful and soul fulfilling Christmas this year? Have you prepared to slow down your life, look clearly and honestly at the pace that is sucking the life out of you? Have you prepared ways to match up our faith with your actions this Christmas? Is Christmas making a positive difference in your day planner? Checkbook? Family? Marriage? Friendship? Spiritual growth? Would you see evidence of spiritual authenticity and integrity in your life this Christmas season if you were a casual observer of your life, schedule and preparations? Prepare your heart for Christmas. Let me put it this way, Jesus isn’t as interested in all your preparations as much as He is interested in how you prepare YOU! God wants the most powerful reality of this Christmas to be the impact He makes on your heart. So, let me ask you again, “are you ready?” Are you prepared for the coming of the King?
- What preparations are you making for Christmas this week? How are you preparing your heart for Christmas? What is getting in the way of that type of preparation?
- How would you like to see Jesus change you this holiday season? What could you offer to the newborn King as a personal gift that would bring Him glory and honor?
The Christmas story – Luke 2:1-20, Mark 1:1-8