Preparing for His Birthday
By Becky Hunter
And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.–Luke 2:7
In just a few weeks we will all be singing Happy Birthday to Jesus! That will be great fun!
The days between now and when we are blowing out the Advent candles, though, can feel a bit overwhelming. Why is that? Do you really think that it is because in addition to our daily routines, we are buying, wrapping, and mailing gifts, or because we are spending hours baking goodies, decorating our homes, and inviting tons of people in to enjoy the festive atmosphere? Is it because we are overseeing the church Christmas play, singing in the Cantata, and ordering all the candles for the Christmas Eve service? Are these really the kinds of things that overwhelm us?
No, I don’t think so.
I’m convinced the root cause of our being overwhelmed this time of year is that we personally know this Jesus, whose birthday we soon will celebrate. No amount of preparation is adequate to the celebration that His being born warrants, and we know it, but we are compelled to give it our best effort.
And rather than suggest you “stop and smell the poinsettias” these days, I would like to let you know that your Herculean efforts this season just might be the means God uses to make someone curious about the extraordinary Baby who has caused you to be even more other-focused and giving than usual. I’m not at all convinced that we lose the meaning of Christmas in all the hustle and bustle of this season. In fact I believe just the opposite. I believe we affirm its meaning.
You and I have an opportunity over these next few weeks to prepare our little piece of the world for His birthday. What an honor. I’m overwhelmed and I’m praying you are, too.