This week's Advent theme is preparing the way. In my ignorance and rush, I told my girls that it was joy. I guess I was preparing the way for joy. I am a preparer. I love getting things ready for a big event, as long as it is on time, of course. I began preparing for our anniversary trip in September. I paid for the condo in cash and began to line up the grandparents for the kids(we sent 2 to 1 set and 2 to the other). We only celebrate 10 years once and I wanted it to be special. After all, my husband prepared the honeymoon for me without any of my help. Preparation is good! So many things go awry because we fail to plan for them. Governments cease to exist because leaders fail to take into account the planning for years to come. Our own government is struggling partly because they failed to plan for eventuality that things would not always be successful. We need to realize that to fully enjoy the good times we must experience the bad ones as well. It is that same thing in our individual lives. We will struggle, make no mistake! But, those struggles make us enjoy the easier times all the much more.
I am glad that I serve a God who can see the end from the beginning. He knew before creation was spoken into existence that Adam and Eve would sin. But, He had a plan before it all began. That plan put into the place all the elements that would be needed to prepare the way for the Savior of the world. God began with an unlikely cast of characters who weren't the smartest or the richest or the most well-behaved. It included Abraham and Sarah who lied and connived and tried to "help" God with His plan. It also included Rahab and Tamar. They were women who sinned sexually to get what they wanted in life. Also, in the list was a king who had someone killed just to cover up infidelity with the man's wife. Yet, David was a man after God's own heart. The last example I am going to use is a couple who were barren. They had reached the age that no hope was to be found. There were no fertility doctors and no magic pills to help them conceive. Yet, there was Zachariah in the temple fulfilling his priestly duties before the Lord. Gabriel appeared before him and told him that Elizabeth would get pregnant and give birth to the one who would come before the One. I like to think that Zach might have laughed if he weren't so stinking afraid. "You are joking, right? Where are my friends? Are they putting one over on me? You know that Liz and I aren't spring chickens any more. Maybe you appeared to the wrong fella. There are some younger guys out in the temple. Maybe you meant one of them." And for his lack of faith, he was struck mute. True to Gabriel's message, Elizabeth got pregnant and sure enough that baby grew into John the Baptist. He foretold of Christ's coming even in the womb. He preached on the arrival of the Savior. John baptized his Lord in the Jordan. His very last breath on this earth was preparing the way for the Lord. When he was beheaded, he foreshadowed the death of Jesus. In all ways, he prepared the way for Jesus Christ.
How are you preparing for the coming celebration of Jesus' birth? Are you running around like a crazy person trying to find that just right gift? Are you flitting from party to party with no thought as to why we party? Begin, this week, asking God to soften your heart to the true meaning of this season. If you celebrate Christmas not believing in the birth of the Christ child, you might as well be celebrating Kwanzaa as a white person.
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, behold He comes......