Prepare for Christ at Christmas

Prepare for the Christ ChildDo you like to prepare for things? Today is the day that I prepare for tomorrow’s big cooking day. Last month I challenged myself to cook and freeze enough meals for a month. I had never done anything like that before but the idea of not having to be concerned about what we were going to eat sounded rather appealing. I printed out the shopping list and then off to the grocery stores I went. Yes, that is plural, stores because with the amount of food purchased and some food items I was not accustomed to, it took several stores to find the required ingredients. Thankfully I had already read several articles by people who did this once a month cooking and heeded their advice that you cannot shop, prep, and cook all in one day. In fact, super organization is the key to prepare for this event.

Once the shopping is finally completed you spend hours prepping the food before the big cook day. I remember distinctly last month when doing this for the first time that I wasn’t sure I wanted to ever do it again. I was terrifically exhausted from the shopping, prepping, and cooking but then I reaped the rewards. It was beyond wonderful to simply lay out what we wanted for dinner, almost like going out with choices, sometimes it was a crock-pot meal, sometimes a quick oven cook was what needed to be done to bring dinner to the table, and other times it was simply to heat the food. This was especially great on nights we came in late. The other really nice benefit to this was the clean-up. Since the meal was previously prepared all the prep work was completed and often there was nothing much to clean up beyond the plates and a few dishes. It really was outstanding. So today I am once again in the prepare phase of the once a month meal cook off. I have learned some things in the process that is reflecting in my preparation today.

This time I am cooking some of the meat during the day so I am not scrambling tonight when I am utterly tired. Last month when I began the prepare phase I thought I had a handle on what needed to be done but I waited until after dinner to begin and suddenly what looked to be an hour or so worth of work turned into hours and it was well after midnight before the last onion was finally diced, sliced, and put away. So today my vegetables and fruit preparation of cutting, dicing, mincing, or whatever they require to be completed is to be accomplished before the hour grows late.  Making sure to prepare for an event is very important even something as trivial as cooking for a day. I learned a valuable lesson on preparation last month and will take my new knowledge to heart as I prepare once again to cook.

As we move into the last week of advent and prepare for Christmas we must realize how God prepared for His son too. God choose John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus. God knows how important it is to prepare. John’s job was to prepare the people for the teachings, ministry, and salvation of Christ. John knew the way he was to prepare the people was through the simple word of repent! He was adamant about his message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3) because he was adamant in his knowledge of how great Christ is. John preached telling the people to ask forgiveness of God after repentance and then change their life. Prepare is what the people did for the coming of Jesus the first time and prepare for Christ is what we should do today especially during the season of Christmas. Jesus forgives each of us, cleansing our sins from our life. He takes our punishment away and makes the path clear to enter into eternal life with Him. We must prepare to accept this gift, prepare to ask forgiveness, and prepare to change our life.

John the Baptist knew that the people needed instructions on how to prepare for Christ, the great one who was coming and who will come again. John prepared the way because He knew that Christ provides the power to live our lives here with strength until God takes us home to live with Him permanently.

John answered their questions by saying, ”I baptize you with water but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am ”“ so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Luke 3:16 (NLT)

Prepare the Way for Christ all Year

As we prepare for Christmas we need to look at our life and seek to prepare our heart and ask forgiveness, and then live our life according to God’s will and plan as this will prepare us for Christ’s return. The Savior is with us not just at Christmas but all the time and with the strength of power He provides, our life should consistently reflect Christ helping lead others to Jesus too.

Margaret was so excited about her part in the children’s Christmas play. She refused to tell anyone in her family what her role was but she was so excited that everyone thought she must be a main character.

The big night came and parents along with the rest of the congregation flooded into the sanctuary and took their places. The shepherds stood in the corner fidgeting as Mary and Joseph stood silently behind the manger. In the back of the church the three young wise men waited not so patiently. And Margaret took her place next to the teacher who began to read, ”A long time ago, Mary and Joseph had a baby and they named him Jesus,” she said. ”And when Jesus was born, a bright start shown in the sky to point the way to the stable where Jesus laid.”

Margaret immediately heard her cue and quickly picked up a large tin-foiled and glittered star, walked behind Mary and Joseph and held the star up high for everyone to see. The teacher then told about the shepherds coming to see the baby and Margaret jiggled the star up and down excitedly showing them where to come. Then finally the wise men came forward on their cue and Margaret went forward to meet them and lead them on their way. Her face was almost as bright as the glittered star. The play ended and the congregation and parents congratulated the children on a job well done.

On the way home Margaret announced to her family with great satisfaction, ”I had the main part!” ”You did?” they questioned, wondering why she would feel that way. “Yes,” she said, “Because I showed everybody how to find Jesus!”

So how do you prepare for finding Jesus now in the great celebration of His birth, through your everyday life, and later for when He returns? The first thing you can do is commit yourself to Him and then to the church, as a whole. There you will find the teaching that will bring the repentance needed to help your life reflect Christ. But as you prepare to listen and hear, it is the next step that creates the reflection. This step is what you do about what you hear. There must be a personal life change for the one who is greater than all; a change that helps others prepare too.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Post Script

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Wayne Dyer

Extra Study

Mark 1:4, John 1:26-27;33, Acts 1:5, 2:3, 11:16,13:25,19:4

What are your thoughts? Join Us in Discussion

Do you prepare for Christmas? Are you prepared for Christ? Join us in discussion on making preparation for Christ all year-long.

 

How God is working through your life?