Preparations for Christmas are already under way. The pace will no doubt speed up now that Halloween is over. I already experience difficulty finding some of the regular items on my shopping list as some things have been taken off the shelves altogether to provide extra shelf space for Christmas goodies. Others have been moved to less prominent places. Families too are busy as they plan family visits, holidays, gift lists, menus and all the other preparations that seem to be essential at this frantically busy time. I wonder if you have ever thought about the length of time that God spent in preparing for Christmas? Well, nine months before the birth, an angel visited Mary. But that was not the beginning. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born the prophets of Israel spoke of a special messenger or King who would be instrumental in establishing Godís rule on earth. But that was not the beginning either.
To find the beginning you have to go back to the very creation of the world. Bringing the world into being and placing it in the hands of men and women was always going to be a risky business, especially as those men and women were created as free agents. What would happen if they decided to do things their own way, rather than Godís? What if their aspirations for themselves and the world were more self-centred and less altruistic than those of their Creator?
Then it would be necessary to have a plan to deal with the fallout. God would need to woo and win back the affections, the minds, hearts and spirits, of men and women. God attempted to do this through his chosen messengers who were often ignored and persecuted. Eventually God himself came among us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the living, walking, talking God in human form. John, one of the Gospel writers, tells us that Jesus was so full of Godís grace and truth that he revealed God in all his glory, in all his love.
As you prepare for Christmas, remember that God has been preparing the world for Christís coming from the very beginning. God gave Jesus to us so that we might once again be reconciled with our Creator God. Think what a difference it could make to you and your life, if you were to welcome him as part of your Christmas celebrations.
Well, it is his birthday after all!