In Spiritual Care

On The Preparation for Christmas

By, Chaplain Howard Earle

I can’t believe Christmas time is here.  If feels like I was trying to start the year only last week and now, it’s almost over. With Christmas comes so many things to do, places to go, gifts to purchase, and people to see. Perhaps one of the operative words of the season is preparation. Christmas is one of those seasons that requires extensive preparation and planning. Being new to Beacon Hill, I marvel at the attention to detail that is so apparent around the campus. Of course, there would be people in fluorescent tops decorating trees and meticulously placing decorations in preparation for the Christmas season. Even now as I write, I’m making my own mental checklist of what decorations I would place where and what gifts I will purchase for whom in preparation for Christmas. How are you preparing for Christmas? God has blessed you to see dozens of Christmases, but there’s still a measure of preparation to undergo after all these years.

We are in the season of Advent, the period of hopeful waiting and patient expectation. I agree with Andy Williams, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the year! But it’s not the silverbells, decked halls, or reindeer that give Christmas it’s magic. In the midst of the whirlwind of shopping, decorating, and loving, let’s not lose sight of the real magic of Christmas; God came down. The prophet Isaiah foretold of a sign, a virgin would give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, meaning God with us. So, as we make our lists, checking them twice, lets make sure at the top is our own spiritual preparation for celebration of God’s gift to the world.

How can we spiritually prepare? First, we must remember why there is Christmas. We needed a Savior. The light of Christmas bursts out of the darkness of our depravity. If there is no Savior, then there is no Christmas. Next, make sure you engage in deep, self-examination. What thoughts, convictions, or attitudes could we be possibly harboring that undermine the meaning and value of Christmas? Ask God to show us the clutter and let us prepare him room. And lastly, build a Godly excitement and anticipation that becomes a part of your legacy. Find ways to make Christmas more exciting with more than material things. Make sure your children and grandchildren know what Christmas means to you and why you celebrate it the way you do. For a fun and interactive way to get the whole family involved, why not construct a live nativity scene! Use grandma’s and grandpa’s jewelry and clothes and dress as astrologers from the east and take the journey following the star. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Take the family on the journey with the shepherds and make your way to Bethlehem to behold the Savior born to take away the sins of the world. This Christmas can be the best one yet; It’s all in how you prepare!


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