I don’t simply mean, “Have you done all your last-minute shopping, packing for travel, or cooking preparations” – although that’s certainly part, and I hope a joyful part, of getting ready for Christmas.
I mean, “Are you ready” in a different sense…in the sense of “standing by” or “anticipating.”
Are you standing by, anticipating Christmas?
Remembering that the first Christmas was the incarnation – the in-carne-ation…the in-fleshment of God Himself…are you standing by, anticipating, some way that God will reveal Himself to you?
Put another way: are you passively going through Christmas, expecting nothing in the way of seeing God’s presence in your everyday Christmas activities? If so, that’s probably how much of God you’ll see: nothing. God does not force himself on us.
Or are you ready for God, standing by, anticipating, ready to see several instances of God’s presence in your everyday Christmas activities? If so, that’s probably how much of God you’ll see: plenty. God loves being discovered.
I don’t want to preach my Christmas Eve sermon right now in this e-Pistle, but as Christians, we believe that even though God is mystery, and one we’ll never comprehend, that same mystery also chooses to reveal, or disclose himself to us, and in tangible ways: in creation, through the people Israel, through the prophets -- and “above all” in the person of Jesus Christ.
And what’s more remarkable is that God did not finish revealing who God is after Jesus’ days, but continues to do so in our own day.
God’s self-disclosure, God’s revelation, continues.
So this Christmas, imagine yourself as a child lying awake in bed early on Christmas morning, anticipating the “go-ahead” to rush downstairs, eager to see what’s there: signs of God, everyday incarnations of God, all around you.