Are You Ready for Christmas?

presents.jpgAre you ready for Christmas?

I’ve been asking people that question everywhere I go. Neighbors. Cashiers. Teachers. Coworkers. Doesn’t matter who you are.   If you’ve run into me in the last couple of weeks, you probably heard it. It’s been my go to conversation starter this season.  I’m not great at small talk, so when I find something that works, I stick with it.

The answers, however, have surprised me. Almost to a person, everyone has responded by talking about presents.

Oh, we still have a few things to get.

I’ve barely started. I hope to knock it out this weekend.

My wife takes care of all that.

I do most of my shopping online.

We don’t really buy much.

The funny thing is, I didn’t say a thing about gifts. I asked if they were ready for Christmas.   That’s two entirely different things.

Don’t get me wrong, I love presents. I love to give them and don’t mind getting a few myself, but when it comes to Christmas, it bothers me that we spend much more time focused on what’s going under the tree, instead of on what’s going on in our hearts.

Are you ready for Christmas?

A man named Simeon was. A couple of thousand years ago, Simeon had been getting ready for that first Christmas for a long time. See, God had made a big promise to Simeon. He told Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah with his own two eyes.

In Luke 2:25 it says, “he was waiting for the consolation of Israel.”  Jesus. The promised One.   The One who would enter into our suffering and bring us healing and peace.

By the time we meet Simeon, he’s an old man, and we have no idea when God made that promise. He could have been waiting for decades.

When Jesus was eight days old, Mary and Joseph took him to the temple, and on that day Simeon received the best Christmas present of all. He got to see Jesus face-to-face and even hold Him in his arms.

He said, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.  I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. ” (Luke 2:29-31 NLT).

Are you ready for Christmas?

Simeon was ready. He was ready because he’d made room in his heart for Jesus. He’d waited and longed and hoped and dreamed not about the presents under the tree, but about the God who was born under a star.

Simeon loved God with all of his heart. God was His greatest desire.  And God has a thing about rewarding those who seek Him. As Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Make room in your heart for Jesus today. Make Him the greatest desire of your heart. If you do, you will not just be ready for Christmas but for the day when He comes again.

If you’d more help preparing your heart for Christmas, here is a free ebook I wrote for grown-ups and another one for families and kids.  

traveltips

You can also check out my Christmas devotional, Holiday Road, on Amazon or read a free chapter of it here.

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