I was driving my daughter to school, and I asked the simple seasonal question “What do you want for Christmas?”
The response, “An Ipad, cellphone, new Wii (we have one), Wii games, New Nintendo 3D with games (she has the old one), clothes and a dog.”
After looking at her in the rear view mirror to see if she was really serious, I knew before we pulled one ornament out of the box to decorate, there would be some re-connecting to baby Jesus going on in our household.
The list was extravagant and a moment of temporary insanity for her. She will no doubt be blessed with some things, but definitely not ALL of those things.
After we were back on track and assured that she did know the real meaning of Christmas, a bit of sadness came. The media and many of those around ask the question “Are you ready for Christmas?” The majority of the time the question can be translated, “Have you decorated to perfection and bought out the mall?”
If the answer is no to both of those questions…are we not ready?
As I often refer to my children and those close to me as champions, the original Mom of a Champion came to mind….Mary.
When she learned from the angel sent by God that she was carrying the baby, the wedding to Joseph had not yet taken place. Was she ready?
When Joseph scooped her up, while she was in her last trimester of pregnancy, to pay taxes of all things, in the city he was born in ….how convenient was that? Was she ready?
She had to let the the baby sleep in hay among stinky animals. The nursery was not yet finished. The color scheme had not been chosen and the diaper bag not yet packed. Was she ready?
Men followed a star to see the baby and bring gifts. Guests…now of all times? Furthermore, they brought frankincense, myrrh, and gold. What kind of gifts are those for a new baby? They were not the ones she would have registered for? Was she ready?
When she may have finally saw the possibility of a moment of rest, the wise men advised Joseph to once again scoop Mary and the baby up to protect his family from King Herrod. This time, on a donkey to Egypt. Was she ready?
Fast forward years ahead. When she saw her handsome son hanging on a cross suffering… How could any mother be ready for that?
The original mom of a champion may not have been ready. Like us, many things were thrown unexpectedly at her and were not a part of her well laid out agenda. She may not have been ready, but she was obedient. God said, “You have been chosen to bring this great champion of all champions into the world”……Mary said, ”Yes”.
This Christmas, just be ready…right where you are!
Be ready to celebrate a baby that came to life…for your very life.
If you have not decorated to perfection, look at that Charlie Brown tree with new eyes, as the most beautiful you’ve ever seen.
If you have decorated to perfection and have the gift of beautiful things around you; take time to enjoy them with your family and friends.
If like so many, you’re feeling the effects of the economy, don’t underestimate the gift of you and your time. Don’t forget to celebrate the Lord of hope who is more than able to turn the situation around.
If you are at a good place financially, enjoy shopping and giving, and remember those who are not so fortunate.
In all of these situations, give thanks and find joy. Give thanks for what you do have and what is to come according to His promises.
The “Joy to the World” we sing about is not contingent on what is wrapped in a box from Macy’s or Toys R Us. The “Joy to the World” we sing about can be found wrapped in each moment of every day. It is not washed away by storms. The light of this joy cannot be turned off, even in the darkest pit.
Joy to the World! The Lord is come!
Are you ready for Christmas?