Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wait, wait. I'm not ready for Christmas.

This morning I had to convince my overly eager children that there were still three days left until Christmas. Sophie saw no need to count one of those days claiming there were only two days left. “Depends on how you count,” she said.

It’s easy to tell, my kids are ready for Christmas. I am not.

All I can think of is how much I have left to do. I have to finish up a couple of sermons. Fine tune a couple of gifts. I have to double check all my lists and make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. I find myself pleading with the calendar, “Could you slow down just a bit? I’m not quite ready for Christmas.” Maybe you feel the same way.

Ready or not, though, Christmas is on the way. It will show up regardless of whether or not my to-do lists are complete. Surprisingly, Christmas’ stubborn refusal to delay is a form of grace. For who can ever be ready for Christmas, really. Not just the day, mind you, but the Christ who came and still comes on Christmas day. How does one get ready for the coming of one’s King?

Sure there’s the repentance and the straightening up of one’s soul. Both good and proper things, no doubt. But after one has done all the cleaning up of one’s heart, a quick look around our lives reminds us that our meager souls are still pretty poor quarters for the Lord of all creation. The closer he gets the more we find ourselves saying, “Wait, wait. Things are not ready. I am not ready.”

And yet, Christ comes anyway for his coming is not about our worthiness, but his mercy. Not about our togetherness, but his care. Not about our worthiness, but his love.

Maybe that’s why kids are always ready for Christmas and adults are not. Children are always ready to receive a gift, even a gift they could never earn. We adults on the other hand, have trouble just standing there with open hands, especially with boxes on our to-do lists unchecked.

But Christmas is coming whether we’re ready or not. Thank the Lord.

What do you have that you did not receive? – 1 Corinthians 4:7

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