Today we will prepare for our oldest daughter, Grace to come home. She is back in the Commonwealth and went straight to helping out dear friends. There are lots of things to prepare for in this life before they come to pass. Be ready. People make incredible and often elaborate plans for a wedding and little preparation for marriage: get ready to have a baby but fail to prepare for parenting; focus on the Babe in the manger and forget that His entrance was made in the shadow of The Cross.
Many Americans go ALL out for Christmas and usually, I am one of them. There is lots of preparations involved. Playing Christmas music and singing along, black Friday, baking, decorating, shopping, making lists, checking them twice, Christmas parties, The Tree, spending lots of money, Holiday concerts, writing Christmas cards and letters, shopping, putting up the Advent Calendar (hey look at that, something I actually did this year), deciding when to get together with the in-laws ( a check mark here as well;-), time to reflect on what we are celebrating.
It Did cross my mind that in the traditional sense, I am not ready and not worried about it either. What a gift from God. I have been poked and questioned about my lack of action but remained unmoved for the most part. This morning I sat down to read my Bible (nothing unusual there) and came to a passage in Isaiah:
"It will be said on that day, Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
Jesus is the One who came. He has given us the gift of salvation. He will come again. Preparation for the remembrance of our God becoming flesh, yes I have done it during this season of Advent but instead of it being a family affair, it has been something, I have been quietly doing myself. (Our family is in one of the great seasons of parenting: some call it "launching arrows, others "sending out the eaglets" or "birthing adults." I freely admit that I am not doing a perfect job and at times find myself treating these adults like children. There is a lot of coming and going happening.)
Some Jews, Simeon and Anna, the Prophetess, Joseph and Mary, Mary's cousin Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, the lowly shepherds and others recognized Jesus as the Christ. All of Israel was waiting for their Messiah and some are still waiting. We, Christians await Jesus Second Coming. He will not come in the same manner as the first coming but as the Warrior Kin in power and might. And we say, Maranatha! (translated means Come Lord Jesus Come!)
Are we prepared for the Return of the Reigning King? Do we care? When Jesus does return will He find faith on the earth? I hope so. I want to be found ready: walking in the Truth with the Truth by the Truth in the stream of His Love empowered by His Spirit, loving God and Loving others, being about the business of building His Kingdom for His glory.
The food will be eaten, the drinks drunk, the songs sung and gifts given. Then we will turn the calendars to January 2011, a new year and hopefully continuing to prepare for the Return of God's One and Only Son.
I say Rejoice, Rejoice Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.