What is the best preparation for Christmas? It is such a busy season with a thousand things to accomplish and prepare – some pleasant, some stressful and overwhelming. We decorate our houses plan meals, buy presents, meet relatives, participate in church activities, and so much more. But when the time comes, are we really prepared?
The best preparation for Christmas
In our busyness, we often ignore our hearts and the fact that they need preparation too. The best preparation for Christmas is the preparation of the heart. Our hearts also need to be cleaned and decorated. They need to be positioned in a certain posture. Christmas is a season of anticipation and waiting which gives us the possibility and the time to do this most important preparation.The best preparation for Christmas is the preparation of the heart. #Christmas #preparation #faith #Scripture #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
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The preparation of Mary as an example
When you think about it, Mary, as the mother of Christ was the first one to prepare for the celebration of Christmas – e.g. for the birth of the Savior. We can take a good example of her. Her planned future is suddenly interrupted by an angel with the most striking announcement – she will conceive and give birth to a son, Jesus who will be called the Son of the Most High and whose kingdom will never end. (Luke 1:31-33) The angel started his announcement by greeting Mary as a one highly favored by God, assuring her that the Lord is with her.
Mary was puzzled and shocked. She could not comprehend this strange news and most of all how this comes together with the fact that she was a virgin. She asked the angel and he gave her even more puzzling and extraordinary answer – the Holy Spirit will come on her! Then the angel assured her that there is nothing impossible for God and told her about the miraculous pregnancy of her relative Elisabeth who was going to have a child in her old age. (Luke 1:35-37)
The best preparation starts with the choice to respond by faith
This news must have been overwhelming. Imagine Mary and the life-altering and destiny-changing words she heard. What would be her response? Was she thinking about the consequences for herself, her future, and safety when God’s words come to fulfillment? Was she thinking “why me”? Or maybe she was thinking about Joseph, her fiancée, and his reaction? Was she at all able to imagine and comprehend this message?
We don’t know. We don’t know either how long she needed to respond to the angel – seconds, minutes, more… However, she said “yes” embracing without reservation God’s plan for her life. Listen to her faith-filled words of obedience and humility: I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)
3 Steps to prepare our hearts for Christmas
How can we prepare like Mary? How can we prepare our hearts for the Lord? Here are 3 essential steps.
1 ) The first step is to be willing to let go of our expectations, of our plans and imaginations. Especially in the Christmas season, our expectations run high and plunge us in disappointment when things do not develop as we wish. Mary was willing to relinquish her expectations and dreams for her future. Let’s follow her example and be willing every day to lose our life so we can receive and live His life.
2) The second step is to accept by faith God’s plan, His will, and His provision. Very often God’s provision and solutions come in completely unexpected, unimaginable form like our Savior coming as helpless baby. Our openness to accept helps us to see and recognize God’s gifts. Accepting His plans is accepting Him and His love. We can do this by starting to think about ourselves as He does – as highly favored, constantly surrounded by His presence. Let’s choose to live daily in the truth that we are called, loved and kept.
3) The third step is to choose the posture of a servant. Humbling our hearts and training them in a renewed obedience is a great heart preparation. Being faithful and honest, and guarding our hearts against evil is the path to servanthood which is the greatest privilege possible. “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me.“ (Psalm 101:6)
The reward for being prepared
There is a big reward for the heart preparation, for seeking the Lord and responding to Him by faith. Our reward is a heart that overflows and sings with joy, praise, gratitude, worship, and prophetic vision. We are blessed, happy and satisfied. We can see all this expressed in Mary’s song of praise. (Luke 1:46-55)
Let’s say with her this Christmas: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:47)
What are the expectations you need to release this Christmas? Are you willing to let go of what it was and what is not and accept the things God has prepared for you? Come share your thoughts in the comments and on social media.Humbling our hearts and training them in a renewed obedience is great preparation for Christmas. #Christmas #preparation #obedience #faith Click To Tweet Letting go of our expectations and accepting God’s plan are essential ways to prepare our hearts for Christmas. #Christmas #preparation #expectations #GodsWord #bgbg2 Click To Tweet