People are asking me one question right now. It is the same question they always ask this time of year. “Are you ready for Christmas?”
Are we ever? Really? Even if you’ve cleaned your house to the impossible standards of your mother in law, even if you’ve bought every relative and friend a present (or two), you aren’t ready.
You aren’t ready for Christmas, and you won’t ever be, and that is just fine.
Even if you think you are ready, there will always be something you missed. There will always be something that you forgot to do or a present you forgot to buy. Someone will always show up that you didn’t prepare for, and something will always happen that you weren’t ready for.
That’s part of Christmas.
We aren’t ever ready for Christmas, because we aren’t ever ready for Christ.
Christ is always more than we can handle, and always exactly what we need. Christ is the cup spilling over, an extra blanket on the bed, a second helping of your favorite meal, a friend there even before you pick up the phone. Whatever you have, Jesus has more of it and is giving it to you, with no questions asked.
And you can’t ever repay it. And that is OK.
You don’t have to pay it back. You have to pay it forward.
You pay it forward by being kind, by giving, by forgiving. You pay it forward by smiling at a stranger. You pay it forward by tipping the harried server extra at the buffet. You pay it forward by letting someone cut in line while in traffic.
The real meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with presents, and everything to do with presence.
It has to do with being real, and being kind, and being awake to the moment. Every moment is Christmas – every moment is a chance to serve Christ by being Christ to someone else.
So are you ready for Christmas? I’m not. And that is OK.
Christmas washes over you and pulls you down. You start to drown, your arm up, waving, begging for help. There you go, down for the count, and Jesus steps in.
Drop everything. Drop all your plans. Don’t buy a thing for Christmas. Don’t wrap anything.
Christmas isn’t about the gifts you give. It never was.
Christmas is about the amazing gift you get. You get God, right here, with you. You get God every day, in your heart, loving you – yes you – right now, as you are.
Are you ready?