As we quickly approached Christmas, I heard the following question countless times: “Are you ready for Christmas?” I asked this question myself a few times. I know what it implies – trust me…
Did you purchase and wrap the perfect gift for all of your friends and family? Is the house clean and the decorations immaculate? Have you planned the perfect menu? Did you fight the grocery store crowds to purchase 10 packages of cream cheese and every variety of booze your guests could desire?
My answer every time, of course, was a stressful “No!”
We’ve somehow convinced ourselves that all of these things must be done before we are allowed to celebrate Christmas. I know better, yet I get caught up in this cycle every single year. The days in December fly by; we work to check off our numerous ‘to do’ lists; we wish away life’s moments hoping for that perfect Christmas day to arrive. We forget what we are really celebrating!
Christmas is a celebration of God’s presence! “Joy through Christmas is knowing the love of Christ through God’s gift of relationship and God’s promise to give unending love and unconditional grace.” (These are words I wrote myself only a few weeks ago… Leave some holes in the calendar!) Why, exactly, do we think there are things we need to do to be ready for this!?! There is no amount of gift buying, cookie decorating or grocery shopping which can prepare us to experience God’s love!
When someone asks – “Are you ready for Christmas?” – the answer should always be a resounding “Yes!” Yes – I am ready to give thanks for the presence of a loving Creator God!
The visible signs of Christmas will now begin to fade away. Yet as the lists are thrown out, the decorations are taken down, and the lines at the stores get shorter, may we continue to celebrate Christmas Joy by finding God at work in our lives every day. Even more, may we show this love through service to others all year long.
May we always be ready for Christmas!