Are You Prepared?

It’s coming. But are you prepared? Are you ready? Or are you already a little exasperated with all the anticipation?

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7

Are You Prepared? 

Christmas is a glorious, magical time … for children.

But it seems that more and more for adults it is tiring, stressful, and annoying.

The stores have Christmas merchandise available in September – a full three months before Christmas.

Christmas music starts to show up on the radio weeks before Thanksgiving.

Commercialism Nothing New

The commercialism of Christmas is nothing new. Although it may seem a relatively recent innovation to some, especially the younger ones.

But in 1965 (the year I was born) commercialism of Christmas was bemoaned by Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas (ironically heavily sponsored by Coca Cola™).

But that also wasn’t the beginning of the complaining of commercialism at Christmas. In the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street there is one of my favorite lines:

“Yeah, there’s a lot of bad ‘isms’ floatin’ around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it’s the same – don’t care what Christmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck.” Alfred, Macy’s janitor.

Buck the Trend

Let’s do something about this! We can buck the trend of the commercialism of Christmas!

And we can start with this song: The Wexford Carol.

A hauntingly beautiful Irish melody from the town of Enniscorthy in County Wexford is married to lyrics that tell the story of the real reason for Christmas.

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son

This is our call to a world stressed out or annoyed with all the “ism” of Christmas. Stop and listen to our tale – true – of the birth of a baby.

But maybe you can’t. Maybe you don’t have time to hear the story. After all, you are still looking for the perfect card, the perfect gift, the perfect wrapping paper, and as a result you don’t have time to sit and listen.

Making Christmas Special Again

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. And I’ve felt like that. If I just get that one special gift for that one special person, Christmas will be special again.

Or perhaps you just don’t feel the mood like you want to. It’s too warm. It’s too green. There’s no snow. Just rain and mud. Everything is dirty.

And work is piling up. Your desk is deep with projects and appointments and commitments. There’s just no time to sit, relax and enjoy the holidays!

But remember, this is what Christmas is all about:

Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife.

“End all strife”? Could it possibly be true?

Is Christmas about the birth of someone who is going to take all this “ism”, stress, and strife away?

What Makes Christmas Special

That’s exactly what it is! God promised us that what brought all this pain and sorrow on us – sin, death, and the devil – would be defeated, wiped out, and removed by his son, Jesus Christ!

God did this for us. That’s how much he loved us! He wants peace for us. Love, joy, comfort, and pleasure.

Not stress, pain, sorrow, or even death. Above all, God loves you so much! He sees you in your sinful state. Ye, he loves you anyway. And God refuses to leave you that way. Therefore, God sent Jesus on Christmas Day to save you.

Sit awhile, hear the story that the Wexford Carol tells.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to see the reason for the Christmas season – your love for us in and through Jesus Christ. In his name. Amen.

This devotion is taken from the book Music From the Manger – volume six in the “In My Father’s Footsteps” series. Paperback can be found here. Kindle edition here.

© 2018 True Men Ministries

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