There are a lot of things we anticipate about the Christmas season. Those things we anticipate influence what and how we prepare for the Christmas season. If we anticipate spending time with family, we prepare to spend time with friends and family. We get the house ready for out-of-town family to arrive or we make the necessary plans to travel to them.
If we anticipate a big Christmas meal, we plan the menu and who’s providing which part of it. We plan the trips to the grocery store and set aside the time to prep and cook the food. If part of our food plan includes making Christmas candy or baking Christmas cookies, we prepare what’s needed to do those.
It’s the same with the other things we anticipate about Christmas – the lights, decorations, giving and getting gifts (even Santa makes a list and checks it twice). We prepare for the things we anticipate.
Preparing is actually a pretty big theme in the story of the first Christmas. The Jewish people of the day were eagerly anticipating the arrival of someone who would be sent to redeem & restore them into right relationship with God. This person was known as the Messiah. The story of the first Christmas is the story of the arrival of the Messiah. It also includes the story of the arrival of someone who would prepare the way for the Messiah. This is the part of the story that was the focus of part 2 (PreparING) in CCC’s Christmas-ING series.
Take a few minutes to read Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 57-80 and the next step of considering these questions about preparing the right things for Christmas rather than simply a lot of things.
- What is your favorite thing to prepare for Christmas?
- What makes Christmas extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary?
- Why do you think Zechariah was “shaken & overwhelmed with fear” when the angel showed up?
- What is the significance of the angel telling Zechariah his prayer had been heard?
- What do you think it means that Zechariah’s son will “prepare the way for the Lord”?
- Jesus fit the descriptions of the Messiah. How was John to prepare the people to embrace who Jesus was?
- Why do you think Zechariah wasn’t completely prepared for what he was being told?
- Why is it so easy to get wrapped up in the ordinary tasks of life and not be prepared for the extraordinary of what God wants to do in our lives?
- Why do you think we often need additional signs to confirm when God wants us to do something?
- Even in something as simple as a name, how were Zechariah and Elizabeth willing to align their lives with what God desired for them to do?
- What is the significance in Zechariah praising God when he was able to speak rather than celebrating the birth of his son?
- What next steps will you take to prepare yourself and help others prepare for Christmas?
It’s easy to approach this Christmas like every other Christmas, but when we do Christmas can become ordinary. When Christmas becomes ordinary, we forget to consider the extraordinary in the story of the first Christmas. In the extraordinary story of the first Christmas is where we find that God loves us was we are but too much to leave us that way.
Today is Monday – make it a day where you prepare the right things for Christmas rather than simply a lot of things!