Christmas Preparations

Dear Friends,
What great weather we have been having! I’ve been enjoying these mild temperatures. It seems the older I get, the less cold tolerant I become. But, I also say the same thing about the heat in summer. Maybe I’m just becoming harder to please.

Work is progressing on the house at the lake. The kitchen sink needs to be installed, and then I will try to take a more relaxed approach to the rest of the work.

I return to the topic of Christmas this week. It just seems right for this time of year. Today, I want to share some thoughts about how we might prepare for Christmas, and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Here are four things to consider.

First, meditate on the need for a Savior. Do this from a personal standpoint. Without the recognition of sin in our life, the season is meaningless. We cannot earn favor with God, we need a Savior and His name is Jesus. Christmas will not have its full effect until we realize our helplessness.

Second, spend time in sober self-examination. King David in Psalm 139:23 said, “Search me O God and know my heart.” In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul writes, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” Peter’s admonition is this: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord” (1 Peter 3:15). Those without a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus have no basis for celebrating His birth.

Third, get excited about Christmas. Expect and anticipate the things of the season. Eagerly look forward to the holiday and all things Christian that it represents. Take a lesson from the shepherds. After the angel’s announcement, they hurried to find the Christ-child and left the stable in a state of wonder and rejoicing, telling everyone they met.

Fourth, be much in the Word. Meditate and memorize. Read and re-read the passages of prophecy and their fulfillment in Jesus’ incarnation. Read the Christmas story with your family as if you were hearing it for the first time. Here are a few suggestions: Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:1-20; Matthew chapter 1: through 2:12.

Christmas gives us cause for celebration, but it is also a time for reflection. In the words of the familiar Christmas carol: “Let every heart prepare Him room!”

Contemplating Christmas,
Pastor Jerry

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