OK, I am so not ready for Christmas. Typically I spend Thanksgiving weekend getting ready for Christmas. I start putting up decorations, I make lists of gifts I need to buy, I look at the packed out calendar and figure out where to put everyone I “have to see”. So far all of the Christmas planning I have accomplished is the purchase of a new Christmas sweater I bought on sale last July- although does anyone know where I put it? I am definitely not ready for Christmas.
If I haven’t wrapped my head around Christmas, I certainly have not opened my heart. Isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about- a time to anticipate the coming of the Christ Child? I want my heart to be a great advent calendar where each day reveals more reasons why I long for more of Him. But let’s face it, more Jesus means less me. More Jesus looks like asking His advice for what I do, His help for how I do it and His eyes for how I see it. If left on my own everything, even Christmas, turns back to me. Blah.
But handling more of my thoughts, acts and heart over to Jesus is scary for me- I can’t even imagine how it must have been for Mary. Mary was just a precious young girl- maybe 13 or 14 years old- minding her own business when an angel of the Lord appeared. He told her she was to become the mother of God’s Child. Needless to say that demand required Mary to completely empty herself out and to be filled with nothing but Jesus. The Lord was asking her to give up her body, her safety, her reputation and certainly any future plans in order to place herself in the mysterious, frightening, powerful, loving hand of God.
This Christmas, is God asking any less of you and me? Do you know what Mary said? In Luke 1:38 Mary told the angel “I am the Lord’s servant, … May it be to me as you have said.” That’s abandon. Mary dove into the hand of God with abandon.
If it had been me, a part of me would have wanted to follow in Mary’s footsteps but more of me would have wanted outcomes, assurances, even guarantees. “Well, if I do this, what happens to me? What about Joseph? What about my mom?” (Do you wonder what Mary’s mom must have thought about all this?)
Mary did none of that. Mary was ready- not because of anything about her except her willingness to be less. Mary offered to empty herself and be filled with Christ.
I yearn to have a heart like Mary’s this Christmas. I want to dip each day in Jesus- more of His help, more of His advice and more of His view of me and the world. I pray this Christmas you hunger for the Lord to prepare your heart for the coming of His Child. Glory Hallelujah!!