Posted by: glorifyhim1 | December 7, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

 

This week I began the task of getting ready for Christmas. First came the legal pad where I jotted down everything I needed to do – cleaning, decorating, shopping for gifts, planning for dinners, cooking and baking. Next, down came the boxes of tree decorations, artificial wreaths and centerpieces, and the myriad strings of Christmas lights. With less than three weeks until Christmas, there is much to be done!

As I pored over my lists and all I needed to do, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander back to that first Christmas so many years ago. I wonder what was on Mary’s mind. What was she thinking about as she waited for Jesus to be born? Did she make lists of all she had to do? Was she ready and waiting when Jesus made His advent into our world?

After Mary received the news that she would be the mother of Jesus, Luke 1 tells us that one of the first things she did was to visit Elizabeth, her relative. Upon receiving Elizabeth’s greeting, Mary broke into a hymn of praise (Luke 1:46-55) which is often referred to as the “Magnificat.” In this hymn, Mary praises the Lord for what He has done for her and others. She rejoices in God her Savior, and in the difference He has made in her life. She praises God for the mercy He has shown to His people, for His strength that has delivered them, and for His faithfulness to the covenant that He made centuries before with Abraham. The baby that Mary carried was the fruition of God’s promise of deliverance all those years before.

As I read Mary’s hymn of praise, it occurred to me that perhaps I had left something very important off my Christmas “to do” list. Before the cleaning, shopping, and decorating – before the meal planning, cooking, and baking – before any other thing, my first response should be like that of Mary. Christmas is about a God who loved us enough to send His very own Son to save us from our sins. (John 3:16) And He doesn’t just save us, but He also gives us life more abundantly (John 10:10b). Every good thing in my life I owe to Him and the mercy and grace He has shown to me. More than anything else, Christmas is a time for rejoicing over a God who loves us, a Savior who redeems us, and the wonder of God’s mercy, grace, and faithfulness to all generations.

Mary’s hymn of praise reminds me that as much as I love all the activities and traditions associated with Christmas, they are not the first things I need to do in order to get ready for Christmas. Like Mary, may I first respond in humility and faith, offering praise and rejoicing in all that God has done. Psalm 95:6-7a states, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God.” It is then that we are ready for Christmas – whether or not we get everything crossed off that list!

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Responses

  1. I enjoy reading these so much. Don’t stop.


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