Light the Candle, Jesus Is Coming!
Ready or not, Christmas is coming! But what if you don't have every string of tinsel hung, every candle glowing, every gift wrapped and under the tree, every card mailed, every cookie baked, and every place set at the table?
As I write this, there are many worship and music volunteers making preparations for Sunday's services. The music ministry will lead the congregation in a Festival of Lessons & Carols, an annual tradition at our church. The choir began rehearsing the music months ago, and the instrumentalists were acquired long before the pumpkins were delivered to the patch.
The stage is being set (literally), the poinsettias have arrived and await placement, and the chili is in the crock pot for the worship volunteers. The hustle and bustle of Christmas is alive and well as we ready the Chapel, singing along to our favorite carols.
Task lists are being checked and rechecked, added to and crossed off as accomplished. We can only hope that we have remembered to dot every "i" and cross every "t." Will everything be ready in time for tomorrow's rehearsal? Lord, I pray that I really have all of my ducks in a row! Then I pass by the nativity in the narthex, and I suddenly remember that Mary and Joseph didn't have everything together when the first Christmas came either.
When the time came for God's Son to be born they weren't in their home in Nazareth, but were far away in the little town of Bethlehem. They weren't snuggled in a warm, comfy room, but in a shelter for animals. They couldn't lay their newborn in a nice crib, with the nursery painted the perfect hue of blue; they only had a feeding trough. But even in the chaos of the first Christmas, God was working out God's perfect plan.
God has a plan for worship this Sunday, as well. We all have done our very best to prepare. After the last sharpened pencil has been placed this evening and we gather in the house kitchen to share a meal, our traditional chili supper, the foundation has been laid for God's plan for Sunday.
As we come together on Sunday to hear once again the story of Christmas, singing familiar carols and remembering why Jesus came into our world, we will know in our hearts that we are truly ready for Christmas. All the preparations are complete. God has done it all through Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem.
Prayer for Today
Lord, help us all to relax and rejoice this Christmas! Fill us with your Holy Spirit as we join the chorus of angels, singing our way to Bethlehem. Amen.