Ask, “are you ready for Christmas,” and our minds will likely go to a to-do list. For a pastor,
it might look something like:
____Gifts bought, wrapped, mailed
(or ordered and shipped)
____worship plans in place
____Church Conference prep
____pastoral visitations on track
____concert/plane/movie tickets in hand
____Appointment update forms
My dear friend Jim was famous for gift shopping at the local 7- 11 after worship on Dec. 24 when he was pastoring churches.
If we could enter scripture’s Christmas stories to ask, “are you ready for Christmas?” what might we hear?” The world was more than ready for God’s intervention of mercy and justice, but perhaps not so ready to recognize the form in which it came. Those best prepared were caught off guard by God’s announcements, but adapted to what God’s plan actually looked like when it/he came in human form.
There’s Joseph, prepared to enter a conventional marriage of his time and able to adapt to startlingly “bad” news because he carried God’s image of strength, mercy, courage, and compassion in him. There’s Mary, prepared to be a normal young wife, blown away by the angel’s message, but able to adapt because she carried God’s image of hope, justice, and wisdom. There’s that over worked innkeeper, prepared to serve paying guests during the holiday rush and able to find one more warm spot for a young family in extremis because he carried the godly gifts of compassion and hospitality. There are shepherd following their rural routines who adapted to the brilliant message they heard by coming into the city and seeing what God was doing there.
No matter how hard we try to prepare for Christmas celebrations, the best parts are often surprises, the anticipated but not foreseen. Let’s get ready by tending to the God gifts in us and others that allow us to recognize, receive and respond to the gifts God is preparing to birth on earth.
In God’s Grace, Karen
Karen L Munson
A pastor and artist, I'm wondering while I'm wandering through God's marvelous creation.