How to Prepare for Christmas
Isa. 40:3, various Scripture
An elderly widow decided it was too much trouble to get all of her kids and grandkids Christmas presents, so she decided to send them a check with a card. A few days after she mailed all the cards, she discovered she forgot to include the checks in the cards. Imagine all those kids opening a card from grandma with a note inside that says, “Buy your own presents.”
It pays sometimes to take a little more time to be prepared. Especially at Christmas. In fact, I want to announce: It is time to prepare for Christmas.
Time to trim the tree, check the lights and hang the wreath. Time dig out the decorations to put in the house and on the lawn. Time to bake the cookies, make the fudge, hang the stockings and fill them up. Time to write the letter to St. Nicholas, shop for gifts, wrap the presents, attach the tags and put on the bows. Time to address the cards, send the cards, receive the cards from people you haven’t heard from all year. Time to make plans for the out of town trip, time to welcome the kids and their families back home. Time to practice the songs, practice the play, prepare the lessons and the sermons. It’s time to get ready for Christmas.
As of today, you have 28 days to prepare for Christmas Day, 2007. It’s not time to panic yet, but it is time to start making preparations. But I wonder: with all the preparation going on, will you take time to prepare your heart for Christmas this year? So often Christmas becomes a bother instead of a blessing, full of headaches instead of a hallelujahs- all because we fail to heed the words spoken by the prophet in
Isaiah 40:3 …prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
Those words were fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist, and they’re not talking a construction project, but a preparation of the heart to welcome the Lord Jesus. This morning I want to apply this call to our need to prepare our hearts for Christmas This morning I want to offer you 3 ways you can prepare your heart for Christmas. We’ll begin in Luke 18:15-17.
I. BECOME A CHILD AGAIN. (Luke 18:15-17)
After some last-minute Christmas shopping with her grandchildren, grandma was rushing them into the car when four-year-old Jason said, "Grandma, Susie has something in her pocket." He reached in and pulled out a new red barrette. She took Susie back to the store to put the item back where she had found it. Later at the checkout, the clerk asked, "Have you kids been good so Santa will come?" "I’ve been very good," replied Jason, "but my sister just robbed a store."
Christmas is for kids. I often people say it and I wonder what they mean.
Do they mean they’ve gotten too old to enjoy celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ?
I sometimes detect a little sadness, a little disappointment, maybe a little longing for the days when they enjoyed Christmas as a child? Yet Jesus seems to think even grown ups need to become like children. He once told a man named Nicodemus the only way to see God’s kingdom is to be born again. Nick had a hard time with that. How can you start all over again—like a newborn baby? That’s impossible!