Christmas has never been a day unto itself. The days leading up to Christmas are busy with preparation for the holiday.
Decorations are hung, gifts purchased and wrapped, songs played to invite the Christmas mood, and counting down the days till Christmas morning. It is this preparation that creates a sense of invitation. We make these preparations to invite the Christmas season into our hearts
The same can be said of the first Christmas. The birth of Jesus didn’t happen without forewarning or preparation. The prophets of old told the story of a king to be born: that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), that he would be born in Bethlehem (Mi cah 5:2), and that he would set the souls of humanity free (Isaiah 61:1). These words created anticipation in the hearts of the hearers as they waited for the preparation to be complete.
There was also preparation made for the forerunner of this expected savior. An elderly couple was given the news that their son would be a preparer for Jesus, “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). John the Baptist before his birth was given the task to make ready the people for the anticipated coming of Jesus.
The preparation behind the scenes was also meticulous. The conquest that brought an emperor to power, one that would order a census of all the realm that led a young and expecting couple to a crowded town, leaving them no option but to bed down with the pack animals, resulting in the humblest of births speaks volumes to the care of God when preparing for this long-expected advent. With all the preparations made and the entire world holding its breath, the time was ready for Jesus to arrive.
In all the preparations we invite Christmas to come. Just as preparations were made for the Jesus’ birth, preparations have been made for Jesus to enter each life, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10). The preparations have been. Wi l l you accept the invitation?