As the Christmas holiday approaches, our minds are set on preparation. Preparation of what is the question? Preparing for company, buying gifts, baking cookies, cleaning house, decorating, wrapping, visiting friends and family, setting up the tree, the advent wreath? All these examples are ways we prepare for the holiday season. But wait! Are forgetting the most important preparation, that is the preparation of our heart. Are we preparing the way of the Lord?
I have been thinking about what this exactly means. How do we prepare the way of the Lord? Well being prepared means to make things ready. Is my heart ready? Do I have my priorities in order? Is Jesus first and foremost in my life?
Christmas is a time we celebrate Jesus' birth. We can't think about Jesus' birth without also thinking about His life, his reason for coming, His death on the cross and His resurrection. He came to prepare the way for us to enter the kingdom of heaven. His life by example shows us what we need to do to ready ourselves to meet God face to face.
God the Father began preparing the way for his son Jesus after the fall of man into sin in the Garden. He chose his people , He chose the descendant line, He chose the prophets who would tell of Jesus coming well before he was born, He prepared every detail in advance so that when Jesus was finally ready to start his ministry, there could be no doubt that he was the awaited Messiah.
Even with this careful preparation, there were still some who refused to believe. It's incredible to think of all the preparation that God put into Jesus coming, and think about how He also prepares our way for us, setting the plans He has for us before we are even born, plans to build Gods kingdom, the kingdom to which we are invited to dwell. In order to have life and live it abundantly we need to keep this big picture perspective, always being ready, making sure we are living in faith, loving well, ready to serve, and keeping our hearts a clean and welcoming place for Jesus to reside.
So in this Holiday season, as we deck the halls with boughs of holly, let's not forget to more importantly deck our hearts with faith, hope, and love, readying ourselves for action to do the work of our Lord who has prepared in advance our very important role for His kingdom.
May Jesus be the center of our Christmas preparations!