A Preparation for Christmas

I wrote the following for the Ladies Tea I co-hosted this last weekend with a friend from church. I invite you to partake of these thoughts in light of what we celebrate tomorrow.

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“Prepare to meet your God” Amos declares in chapter 4 verse 12 of the short book that bears his name and though this verse was penned 400+ years before the Christmas narrative, it’s got to the heart of the Christmas narrative in it – doesn’t it? “Prepare to meet your God”.

And so as we’re just few days away from our familial holiday celebrations that you no doubt have been planning for and thinking about for weeks now – I want to take a moment to think about the preparation that began a long, long time before your grocery list or your Christmas 2014 pinterest board – and I want to consider that this season is really about remembering that day when mankind got to meet our God for the first time in the person of the tiny baby in Bethlehem – Jesus.

As we consider the testimony of the rest of the Bible, we see that the Christmas baby of Bethlehem is not just another cute cuddly baby but he’s your God and he’s your Savoir too. That is of course why, angels announced his birth and kings came from a far away land to honor him with gifts.

From the beginning of the narrative, God is making it clear that this is no ordinary baby. He tells Joseph through a dream and it’s recorded for us in Matthew 1:21 “She {Mary} will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f] because he will save his people from their sins.”

Isaiah speaking of Jesus says in chapter 53 verse 5 of his book says “he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”

And so we see why “Prepare the way of the Lord” is the cry of the prophets Isaiah and John the Baptist. Because the Christmas baby that came 2000 years ago was the start God’s glorious redemptive plan for mankind. And mankind needs to ready their hearts to head his call on their life and become attuned to the rest of the testimony of Scripture.

From it we learn that the Christmas baby was both God and man. He lived a perfect life – something that no other person ever can – and he died even though he was completely innocent to ransom our lives from the Most High God.

And because he came as a baby, died for us, and was raised to life again – we have hope – John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So is your heart prepared for him? If you haven’t been preparing this season to rejoice at the birth of the baby in the manager, I want to encourage you that’s it’s not too late. Christmas is still a few days away and “while there is life there is hope”.

In closing, I have one more thought to share about preparation. In John 14 just hours before his death, Jesus tells his disciples that he will go to “prepare a place for them”. I believe and I know that many of you do too, that that is where he is right now. In heaven preparing a place for us for when we no longer walk this earth and for that day when we do meet our maker. That day is coming for all of us and I hope that on that day each of you will also know him as Savior as well.

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