December is a whirlwind. Before our turkey has digested from Thanksgiving, our lives become a whirling dervish of activity. Cards need to be written and addressed. Presents need to be bought and wrapped. Decorations need to be unpacked and hung. Parties need to be prepared for and attended. Special worship services and children’s programs dot our calendars. Life in December is FULL . . . and there is much to prepare for.
Given this cultural norm, people often ask each other a very simple (but tough to answer) question this time of year, “Are you ready for Christmas?” This question is tough to answer, because none of us are ever really fully READY for the onslaught of activity this month brings. You may have presents purchased, but the Christmas card has not yet been written. You may have the Daytimer planned out, but not all the holiday meals and snacks cooked.
A friend of mine, Brian Joachims, (reflecting on the dilemma the “Are you ready?” question induces) recently told me that he just kind of shrugs his shoulders not knowing what to say when asked this basic, yet complex question. All of us are simultaneously prepared for some things, but not others. Brian also mentioned to me a profound insight: though not every activity is fully planned and executed in our family’s holiday program, as Christians we all are EXTREMELY ready for the celebration of Jesus birth. After all, the birth of Jesus was all perfectly planned out and played out by our Heavenly Father. Jesus was born, “When the fullness of time had come . . . (Galatians 4:4)” This means that Jesus birth came at exactly the right time. It was not rushed, nor was it late. It came right on schedule. As Christians, we recognize that the birth of Jesus provides for us the Gift we could never purchase on our own. Jesus writes us the love letter we long to receive. The Messiah invites us to the heavenly party we do not want to miss. Because He has made all the preparations, as Christians, we are ABSOLUTELY ready to celebrate His birth!
One last thought . . . if you are reading this and you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you find yourself in a very peculiar place this Christmas. Even if you already have all your presents purchased and wrapped, all your cards written and mailed, all your food prepared and ready to go, and all your parties planned out and the babysitter booked . . . if you do not have a personal relationship with Christ, you are not really READY for Christmas. Only when we place our faith in Christ are we really ready for the most important plan that this season points to.
This Christmas when someone asks you, “Are you ready for Christmas?” think about the real reason for our celebration. May we all give a resounding “YES!” even if there are still 2500 things on our “to do” list.