Are you ready for Christmas?

This is a re-post of a note I published September 12, 2014 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.

Yes, Christmas is upon us. Personally, I love the whole thing! Black Friday starting at midnight? Awesome! Buying gifts? So much fun! Doing that with my family? Great memories! I love the special traditions that go with it all. I love the energy, excitement, and festivities.

It matters not that you say it’s too early. When it starts showing up in our culture it is here and we need to be ready for it. We may cry foul because its appearance is only a reflection of our materialistic culture but I wonder how our culture views (even if it is subconsciously) our reticence to embrace what we believe Christmas is about and celebrate it “early”.

I believe a Christmas attitude, like Christmas music, should be the norm all year. There is nothing wrong with having a special day to celebrate significant occasions but have Christians relegated the incarnation to the level of fantasy and legend because it is only made significant and specially celebrated at one time of year along with Santa and The Great Pumpkin? Yes, I know the Great Pumpkin is Halloween but you get the point.

With that in mind, how should we prepare for Christmas?

1) Prepare for awkwardness…Mary and Joseph…virgin birth…awkward then, awkward now…but true and essential nonetheless. If we are too embarrassed by this or unprepared to discuss it, how can we possibly stand firm with a crucified Savior and His resurrection from the dead?

2) Prepare for opposition…Herod killed babies…the world hates the exclusivity of the Incarnation. Jesus told His disciples they would be hated on account of His name. Why should today be any different?

3) Expect the unexpected…the shepherds were certainly caught off guard but made haste to find Jesus…expect opportunities to proclaim the good news of the Messiah, and be ready.

4) Be generous in your worship…the Magi traveled at great expense and gave what was costly to worship at the feet of Jesus

5) Be undeterred in your worship…the shepherds left their flocks and went into town (they were despised and ostracized by the general population), the Magi left home, traveled a great distance, and went into town under a cloud of great suspicion…all because their desire to worship was greater than any other desire they had.

6) Always be ready and look for His coming…Anna and Simeon…God had made a promise and life was lived within that expectation. We need to always live with that same expectation. God has promised us good and we need to reflect that expectation, both in our present circumstances but also in our hope of His return.

Whenever Christmas shows up, we should embrace it. In fact I believe we as followers of Jesus should set the tone. Instead of grumbling amid our negative posts on all of our social media outlets, let’s embrace the opportunity to proclaim the Messiah and the reason for His coming. May we positively proclaim what we are for over and above what we are against. Let us praise God that we are given the opportunity by our society to proclaim the reality of the Incarnation…even if it is before Halloween.

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