I LOVE Christmas! I do! It brings together all of my favourite things (Jesus, worship, family, friends, food, presents and celebrating) in the one internationally sanctioned season!! I love it!
Your attitude to the Christmas season may be slightly less enthusiastic than mine – in fact, it may be diametrically opposed – because we all have different experiences to draw on and expectations that we foster.
Here’s the first of “12 thoughts of Christmas” as we look to doing the Christmas season WELL!
Of course, you’re all in various stages of preparation for different aspects of the Christmas season. For some, your ‘to-do’ list is nearly all crossed off. For others, you are perfecting the art of denial and hoping that if you ignore it long enough it will all do itself!! 🙂
Many churches and faith traditions celebrate this season of “advent”. The process of counting down, of looking ahead and of preparation. Some of you may even have an advent calendar in your home. The best ones have a chocolate or a treat that you get to enjoy as you mark off each day on the countdown to December 25th.
Over 2000 years ago the world was in a season of preparation that had been thousands of years in the making! If you read the first few chapters of the book of Mark in the Bible you see the process unfolding. The prophecies of Jesus’ impending arrival were finally coming to pass. Mary is visited by the angel Gabriel and becomes pregnant by the Spirit of God … her season of preparation was well and truly come! Joseph responds to God’s call to be Jesus’ earthly father and weds Mary. Jesus the Messiah was to be born!
In the Christmas Carol “Joy to the World” we see the line “let every heart prepare Him room”. That’s the kind of preparations we need to be including on our ‘to-do’ list. It’s easy to be so absorbed by the busyness of the season and the various tasks that need to be done that we lose sight of what this time really represents. The Saviour of the world has come! God has come to earth in flesh – “Emmanuel” (God is with us).
How do you include this kind of preparation in your family life at this time? What stories do you tell, what activities do you do, or what reminders do you have around your house? Let me encourage you to consider this – and share your ideas below for others to use as well!