Christmas arrives. 2 days. Well, about 1 by now.
The point is that it’s a time of celebration. Christ is coming. Hallelujah, he is coming! God arriving, making himself known to us as a child.
That’s the real reason, isn’t it? Have we lost sight of that recently? Quite possibly.
More often, it’s become more about – well… getting. And you’ve all heard the old thing about not making Christmas all about what gifts you can get people to buy you, how expensive and nice and shiny they are, yada yada yada.
Well, I guess the best area to focus on is… the flipside.
How can one prepare for such a joyous event? This magnificent yet utterly humbling coming of Christ?
It’s a huge sacrifice on God’s part to come to us in that lowly form of a child, and in return, perhaps we can imitate Him as we were called to do.
So, the first way for preparation is making sacrifices. Perhaps it’s not in terms of gifts; we can still have pretty much the normal routine there. No, what we can sacrifice is a particular thing or situation we find trying. Perhaps it’s certain family members, or tasks that have to be done. A way of sacrifice is to strive to be with those people or complete those things with a spirit of cheerful service. Sacrifice our normal attitude in the face of oncoming, outpouring joy. Yes, I struggle with this area too. My mother and father can certainly attest to that, and so I openly admit it.
I’m very stubborn and set in my ways, but times change, and so must we in some areas.
We are striving for perfection after all.
Another method of preparation is to meditate or join in the journey towards Christ’s birth. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Joining the Holy Family and Israel as a whole as they wait for the Savior promised so long ago. This can be done a number of ways, the most common of which is reading the bible passages before the Nativity and/or simply praying with each progression towards the day.
It provides an interesting chance to analyze the messages and parallels that can be seen before (and after) His birth.
It can also build a good habit of reading the Bible. Again, something I fail at, often.
Lastly, one can make a new commitment. As Christ committed Himself to taking on human flesh and the path of the Savior, we too can do similarly and take up a cross of sorts. We can become something outside the bounds of our normality.
Perhaps it’s writing letters to great friends (something I really want to get into the habit of); or taking moments to put down our electronics and see the physical world with our own eyes, seeking to deepen our understanding of its mysteries; or even strengthening ourselves physically or mentally, through martial arts or – yes, you know I’ve got to add it in – ballroom dancing, and trying to view others with charity in mind, among other things.
All these things should push us out of our comfort zones in a way. Sacrifice, silence, and commitment are all disquieting on some level. Often, they also overlap. And these are pretty wide ranging topics. There are an infinite amount of possibilities one can explore.
So by doing each of these things, whether listed or not, we ourselves can make a gift for Him who is the greatest Gift of all.