By Sheryl Murray
For the first time in many years our family is having a family reunion. What precipitated the event was my sister and her Turkish husband being able to visit from Germany. Everyone wants to see them, of course. So, one sister and husband are driving in from Chicago; another is driving up from Oklahoma. My son and family are coming from Memphis. Then the cousins want to be together too, so they are flying in from Washington, New York, and Rhode Island. My Lincoln daughter and I are doing most of the event planning–housing, meals, transportation, activities. It takes a lot of work, but we are delighted to do it so that everyone can be together and celebrate being a family. We’ve made up a schedule of when each group is coming and going and will soon be buying food and necessities for the group. We’re even sending out some guidelines to reduce potential conflicts.
Many of you are also preparing for guests–daytime or overnight. And everyone is “getting ready for Christmas” –whatever that might mean in your family. It’s great fun to decorate, bake, buy presents, have parties, go to concerts, etc. But I want you to consider not only getting ready for Christmas, but also getting ready for Christ. Christmas is the season where we celebrate Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, coming to Earth as a baby. God/man was born in a manger. Child of the promise, first given in the garden to Adam and Eve and reiterated throughout the ages, came to save mankind from his own sin and folly. The Son of God born to die for our sins that we might become God’s sons and daughters and live with Him forever.
Advent is the season four weeks ahead when we ready ourselves to celebrate His coming. Yes, let’s plan for Christmas in all its splendor, but in this Advent waiting period, let’s allow Him to prepare our hearts for this glorious event. Take some time each day–it’s up to you and your schedule–to meditate on the reality of Christ and His coming. This could be while driving, eating breakfast or lunch, sitting in a comfortable chair drinking coffee, a few minutes before you go to bed–whatever works for you consistently.
Slowly read over the Christmas story in Matthew 1:18- 2:23 and Luke 1:5- 2:52, perhaps in a version that is less familiar to you. Take a bite at a time to experience the majesty. Try to visualize the time and place, the thoughts and emotions of each person, the fullness of each event, the actions, and words of God through His messengers. Remind yourself that this story is true–real people in real time, with ordinary lives, until God interjected the extraordinary. An event that would change the world forever.
Let those thoughts seep into your heart and mind reaping wonder and awe, leading you to worship this great God and Father. Then let the wonder and awe sprout into an incredible thankfulness that the God of the universe cares so much for you that He sent His son for you–His most precious gift. Consider sharing your thoughts and experiences with your family and friends, encouraging them also to Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room!