Preparing for Celebration
Happy Thanksgiving! Are you still preparing for this celebration or have you moved onto the next upcoming grand celebration? This Sunday marks the beginning of the season of Advent. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means coming. So, the season means preparing for the coming. Typically, we shorten the season for the preparation of the celebration of Christ’s birth, but it really means the time of preparing for the coming again of the Messiah. Christmas is a lot of things to different people but most everyone that celebrates, usually agrees that it is a time filled with great expectation and anticipation. But what are we expecting and how exactly are we to be preparing for the grand celebration?
In the true meaning of the season, we should be preparing our hearts and spirits to receive again the coming of Christ into the world. But many of us, Christians included, are preparing ourselves in a much different way. A great number of people are gearing up for another month-long shopping spree that might just damage bank accounts permanently. Some people place their preparations on food along with the 7 to 10 pounds of extra weight that the average American will gain during the season. Others, however, are planning instead out the best routes to follow to avoid the seasonal traffic jams along with the general atmosphere of the 2 g’s, grumpiness and greediness.
Preparing for Disappointment
Sadly, though a high percentage of people are preparing themselves for depression, anxiety, and even the rage that often accompanies the secular holiday season. It is said that in America, many celebrate 2 separate events on December 25th. One where we can easily find that instead of singing “O’ Holy Night,” we find ourselves living out one holy nightmare.
It is in this, that for the many who faithfully observe the consumer Christmas, that Advent is nothing more than preparing to be disappointed. For it is in this group that Christmas never measures up to their fantasies and even for those whose Christmas wishes are fulfilled, the season ends so quickly that life begins to bear down on them again often before the decorations even come down.
Preparing for the True Advent
But the Advent, we celebrate in the church has nothing to do with the preparations and counting down the shopping days left until the “magical day.” No, the true Advent celebration is more than a time of preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ, instead, it is a time of preparing for Christ’s return. Preparing for His return is a vital part of the Christian’s life, for Jesus is coming and because we don’t know the exact day and time, we must be ready for His arrival.
“So, you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.”Matthew 24:42 (NLT)
It is clear that Advent is a season of preparing and one that requires us to be watchful. However, we should also remember that Advent, a time of remembering and preparation, will not end until Christ returns to earth. Remaining with watching eyes is important because there will not be an opportunity for last-minute preparations or bargaining, for when He arrives, our choice will stand as it is.
Because of this, it is important to remember that each of us has a job to do wherever we are. Heaven is a fine goal but not our only one as we have a job to do here as well and the expectation is that we do that job to the best of our ability until God decides differently. Preparing for the upcoming celebration of Christmas is an applauded effort but we mustn’t mistakenly think that with the holiday celebration behind us our preparation ends.
What Preparing Looks Like
God is delaying Christ’s return so we can help others learn about Him. His delay allows our preparation to extend our time living our beliefs and reflecting His love to others. We show our readiness for Him by being sincere and not critical of the way others live. It is in this we can show them His love. Instead of worrying, let us show trust. Let others see our generosity and not our greediness. While we are preparing, let us work hard for Him and not be lazy. For it is in these ways we prepare our life fully for the grand celebration of Christ to come. It is in choosing this preparing way of life we become more like Him, living a life of joyful expectation so that we can gleefully greet His return.
So, as we are preparing to celebrate Christmas, let us prepare to celebrate the life of Christ in the here and now beyond the Christmas season, spending our time preparing for His coming, year-round and always being ready to celebrate. Preparing for that upcoming celebration is a gift of time allowing for others to join us. Let us not delay but begin preparing now for His unexpected return.
Won’t you be challenged to prepare for Christ year around? Find your convictions in knowing that His promises always come true and He has promised to return. Seek your motivation with the full revelation of His words to us to be on the watch and ready. Surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that each moment of time allows an extra gift of preparation to indeed prepare for Him.
Praise and Thanksgiving to God!
Love in Christ,
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.Benjamin Franklin
What are Your Thoughts?
Are you preparing consistently for the season of Advent? Have you considered that preparation for the return of Christ continues year around? Share your thoughts on preparing for the upcoming celebration of Christmas and Christ’s return.