How to prepare for Christmas
For our children, Christmas is the highlight of the year and it can’t come quick enough. They are tantalized by glittering lights, lavishly decorated Christmas trees, parties and caught up in the excitement of making or writing out cards and wrapping presents. But overshadowing all of this is the dream of Santa Claus arriving towed by his reindeer, clambering down the sooty chimney to leave presents under the tree.
How children love the world of fantasy and as big children we get our kick out of keeping the fantasy alive. Deep down we all wish Santa was for real, particularly when the credit card account arrives and we find that the gifts that arrived mysteriously under the tree are charged to our account.
It’s a fun time for our kids, but chaotic for us. We dream up all the jobs that “must” be done by Christmas. Why by Christmas? I have no idea. But without a goal like this, these chores may never get done. On top of that there are presents to buy, a larder to stock, holidays to plan and families and friends, many of whom we may not have seen all year, to connect with.
But fortunately it is not just a time of busyness it is also permeated with a spirit of goodwill, when we make time to celebrate.
The bunting and lights come out of hiding and churches, shops, homes and streets are decked out. Our stores have dazzling window displays. In a special way the spirit of Christmas brings a drab city to life with parades, parties and celebrations. A time when employers thank their staff, children bring teachers a gift, sports and community groups hold end-of-year functions and schools recognize their students.
Don’t let us underestimate the importance of the Christmas season. The spirit of goodwill and giving is something we all need and something that must be encouraged and stimulated. But the spirit of giving and goodwill is inspired by the gift which set the stage for the first Christmas — God giving his Son, of which every gift we give is a faint replica.
It is not just about gifts and festivities. Beyond that we can uncover something of the heartbeat of God. A determination, whatever the cost, to offer hope to those in need. The Old Testament prophets set out his plan in stark detail. He would give his Son and as the story of the first Christmas unfolds we see every detail, foretold hundreds of years before, re-enacted in real time. It is the gift that God gave that epitomizes the significance of Christmas.
Christmas gives us a unique opportunity to remember and acknowledge the Christ of Christmas, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world. The amazing Bible record leaves us in no doubt of God’s love and his plan to send his son to reach and save a lost world. The story of the first Christmas is filled with human drama but what it affirms is that Jesus is undoubtedly the Son of God, the long promised Messiah, and the Savior of the world
Like the shepherds of old we join with the angels of Heaven to acknowledge and worship the baby born in a manager in Bethlehem.
This morning, we are going to begin to talk about “HOW TO PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS” Join us at 10:30 at Grandview. If you are unable to attend, you can join us on our social media outlets: YouTube or Facebook.
May this Christmas be one that leads us to the greatest gift God has ever given to us.
Dr. Rick Mendoza