Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Are you ready for Christmas?"

While Kristiana and I were at the cash register at Trader Joe's last night, the cashier asked that familiar question. Someone else asked me that same question at church. And also at Target. Even my neighbors, while out walking their dogs, ask me, "Are you ready for the holiday?" "Are you ready for Christmas?"

I always have the same answer - "Yes, I am ready for Christmas."

Have I bought all the gifts we are planning to give to the children? Nope.
Have I bought all the groceries for Christmas brunch? Nope.
Do I even know what gifts I want to buy or what foods I want to make? Nope.

But I am ready to welcome the Christ Child once again into the world and into my life. I am ready to think about Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men and imagine their wonder at the arrival of that miraculous baby boy. I am ready to sit in silence during the next few days and ponder the wonder of the Christmas story. I am ready and Waiting for Love again to be born.

As Rob Mathes wrote so beautifully: To us is born every December anew a love that's unbelieveable, given to me, given to you. This is the season; this is the time. I see the face of a child and that face, it is mine. I'm looking for starlight; I'm listening for angels. Now the house is asleep on this Chrismas morn, but I'm awake. Yes, I'm waiting here for love again to be born.

FYI - If you live in the Fairfield County area of Connecticut, Rob is having his annual Christmas concerts this weekend down at SUNY Purchase, not far from the Merritt Parkway in Purchase, NY. If you have the time and you need to be blessed by a concert of original Christmas music, GO!!! Steve and I went two or three times back when we lived in CT - and every time, it turned out to be one of the highlights of our Christmas season. Rob's Christmas music is skillfully written and soulfully rendered. This song, Waiting for Love to be Born is my second favorite Christmas song. Coming in at number one is Oh Come, All Ye Faithful.

The gifts, the cookies, the gatherings with friends and family, the red and green earrings, the decorations, the Christmas tree, and the themed clothing are all exhilirating, exciting, and enjoyable, but they have nothing to do with "the glorious day (that) will come from this holy night."

On this Thursday, the last Thursday before Christmas, my gratitude extends back to that manger in the stable in the little village of Bethlehem. The tiny baby whose huge life will change history. Certainly it has changed the course of my life, been the source of new life for me, and is the foundation of my life.

Am I ready for Christmas? Oh, yes. I'm ready.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come. There is room in my heart, in my soul, in my home, and in my life for you.

PS. If you want to listen to a few more of my favorite Christmas songs, check this out.  I especially like "Do Not Be Afraid," "Monarchs from the East," and "Fear Not." These songs are from a Christmas program called "Fear Not." Several years ago, Steve and I served as two of the narrators when this program was presented at the church we attended at the time. I like the way the program is summarized:

The wise men offered their precious gifts and they worshipped. And so it has been for two thousand years. People of wisdom still seek Him, still experience that exceeding great joy, still bring Him their offerings. The celebration of the birth of Christ has taken on many traditions since that evening in Bethlehem. Ritual has once again threatened to overshadow reality. The excitement as Christmas approaches is sometimes equal to the letdown as the season passes. Christmas is not about all of the things we bring to the celebration. Christmas is about what He brings. Christmas is about a God in Heaven who loved us enough to send His Son to die for us. Christmas is about deliverance from fear. Christmas is about returning to the heart of worship--Christmas is about offering my heart--Christmas is about Jesus. Fear not: for behold, we bring you good tidings of great joy.

No comments: