First Sunday of Advent, 11/30/14
One look at the lines at the mall parking lot on Friday morning and you know the hustle and bustle has begun. It’s time to get ready for Christmas.
How are you preparing for Christmas? Are you . . .
-writing Christmas cards
-trying to figure out a way to be in two places at once, so you can keep everyone happy
-preparing for final exams
Are these things helping you to prepare your heart for Christmas?
While shopping and wrapping presents, think about what you will give to Jesus for his birthday. Will you commit to daily prayer or Bible reading? Will you find a new way to serve God’s children? Are you ready to turn your whole life over to God?
While cleaning and decorating, think about the condition of your heart. Jesus wants to live there. Is it in good shape? Is there sin tarnishing your heart? Is there something in your life that is more important to you than God? What can you do to demonstrate that God is number one in your life?
While sending Christmas cards to friends and family members across the miles, pray for the people you are sending them to, and for the people who won’t receive any cards this Christmas. At the same time, don’t forget to be fully present to the people around you. Are you enjoying the present, or stuck in past regrets or worries about the future?
While studying, writing papers, and preparing for final exams, think about the biggest test you will ever take. After you die, God will ask you, “Did you know my Son?” How will you answer? Will Jesus be able to corroborate your “yes?”
While cooking and baking, think about those who don’t have enough to eat. Pray for them. If you are able, give to a local food pantry, national or international charity that helps to meet people’s basic needs.
This is a busy time of year. Choose one thing you can do to simplify your superficial preparations and allow more time to focus on preparing your heart. Gifts, decorations, food and time with family are all wonderful things, but they are not the main thing. More than 2,000 years ago, God came to live among us, as one of us, to show us how to live and to open the gates of heaven. That’s what this season is all about.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”