How are you getting ready?

This always seems to be such a busy time of year. Try as we might, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. And sometimes while we are so busy “preparing” for Christmas, we tend to leave Jesus out of Christmas. Things we find so very important, and on the annual Christmas “absolutely must do list”, really have no importance to Jesus or how he would want us to celebrate. I’m just as guilty as anyone, I must admit.

Take a minute and contrast our “getting ready” with how Mary got ready for Jesus’ arrival. She took at least two long trips during her pregnancy. The first, to visit her cousin Elizabeth took nine days of walking. And the second was to travel with Joseph, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be registered as per the required decree of Caesar Augustus.

While we might find ourselves preparing and purchasing gifts and items to celebrate or host parties, Mary was spending her time traveling and visiting. And she was singing hymns of praises! When Jesus was born, she laid him in a manger in swaddling clothes, alongside stinky cows and sheep. And do you know the even more amazing thing? It was glorious! There were angels, and shepherds and wise men all marveling at the sight at which they beheld.

Be sure your Christmas preparation includes some time to reflect on the glory of the baby Jesus and the wonder of his love. We are blessed by great joy and the gift of eternal life. And it all started in a manger alongside stinky cows and sheep.

Dear God,

As we hustle and bustle in the Christmas season, help us to keep Jesus as the reason and reflect upon the gift of the dear Savior baby lying in a manger to save the world from its sins. Help us to share the gift of Jesus with others. And help us to remember to always thank those who shine their light and are thoughtful to us. We are blessed by friends and family in our lives. Help us to focus on gifts of joy and love. We lift up those who are troubled and sick, that they, too, may experience the wonder and joy of Jesus. Joy to the world! Amen

Wendy Saathoff 

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