by Scott Stake
“Are you ready for Christmas?” Ah…the ever-important question we often hear around the holidays! Usually this means, “Are your gifts bought and wrapped, are your travel plans put together, and is your ‘people energy’ tank filled up as you attend all the Christmas parties and interact with lots of interesting family members?”
For our oldest daughter Abigail when she was a toddler, her definition of readiness was whether your Christmas lights were up. Every time she saw a house with lights, she would shout in her sweet little voice, “They’re ready for Christmas!” And when she saw a house without the lights, she would sadly say, “They’re not ready for Christmas.” It was the cutest thing! And now, for the last 10 years, it’s actually become an annual family tradition for us to put on our pajamas, hop into the minivan, listen to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate, and drive around Tallahassee looking at Christmas lights to see “who is ready for Christmas.” (Our annual tradition continues this upcoming Monday!)
So, how would you define being ready for Christmas? All of the things we often think of are good and fun, but I wonder if God wants something more for us. As we’ve been walking through our Advent series called “Wonder,” I have been stirred up to re-consider whether I am ready for Christmas in a different way.
Being ready for Christmas the way God intends seems to be much more oriented towards what’s going inside of us rather than outside. It’s not primarily getting the lights up on our house, but having our hearts focused on our God who “emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men . . . and humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). Being ready for Christmas is seeing the wonder of the Savior. It’s being filled with worship, adoration, thanksgiving, and joy the way the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, and Joseph and Mary were when they saw Jesus as their God and King.
In addition, being ready for Christmas also means sharing the wonder with others. Remember Luke 2:20—“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” It's taking this good news home to tell to your friends, neighbors, and family. As Pastor Dave said, “The Savior sparked the story.” So, whether you are staying in Tallahassee, traveling to another state, or even going to another country like our Cameroon team, God wants us to be so filled with wonder that we can’t help but share it with others!
So, Four Oaks, are you ready for Christmas? Are you seeing the wonder and sharing the wonder? By God’s grace and through His Spirit, may this be the case for all of us!
If you’d like to support our Cameroon team, who is getting ready for Christmas by heading overseas, you can click here to give to the well project. Also, click here to read the newsletter sharing all that they’ll be doing!