With just over a week until Christmas I keep getting asked if I’m ready. There are years when I proudly exclaim – oh, of course, aren’t you? I’ve been ready for months. As if being ready means gifts have been bought and copious amounts of sweets have been stored away in the freezer.
How quickly I fall into the societal norms of the season when it’s the last thing I want our home or my heart to reflect.
I’m not ready for Christmas this year. Truth is, I’m not sure I’ll ever be. Because how do we ready our hearts for a babe come to die? I’ll never be ready enough for that. And how can we prepare for a gift that we’ve done nothing to deserve? I simply can’t.
As I work through the genealogy of Jesus this advent, as I study His family line – seeing with fresh eyes who His people are, I’m reminded that there is no fully prepared. No, I’m all ready. No, I’ve got this all together.
All I see is faith and hope.
The lineage of Jesus reads like a Netflix series. Plot twists , unsuspecting characters, scandalous women. Nobody along this journey was ready for Christmas. Nobody was fully prepared for what was to come. Nobody assumed they had all their stockings hung and so now, yes now, Jesus could be born.
Instead, Eve ate the fruit and Sarah laughed at the downright crazy of her life. Moses straight up said he wasn’t ready and God, can’t you choose someone else? For some reason I’m thinking should Rahab have been asked, she wouldn’t have looked at her life and agreed that she was ready for Jesus. David was just hanging out in the field and Mary was simply planning a wedding.
I’m not sure anyone was ready for Christmas. I’m not sure anyone’s hearts were fully prepared for Christ come down.
I’m not either. I’m not ready because gifts aren’t all bought and stockings haven’t even been hung. But more than that, I’m not ready because my heart is still selfish, prideful, impatient and harsh. My prayers still come out inwardly focused. My desire is still for things that benefit me.
I’ve decided ready isn’t what I’m going for this advent season. Because who of us can ever feel prepared for a gift this big, this undeserving, this immeasurable. I don’t need to be ready for Christmas, I just need more faith. I just need more Jesus. I just need more prayers that say – I’m not ready. I’m weak. My wicked heart wins time and time again, but that’s not the way I want to be.
This advent I want Jesus.
Not the perks or the presents.
Not the memories or money to pay for it all.
Not the safety or slow my prayers often plead.
Just faith enough to see that Moses, though he wavered, was willing. That Rahab, though scandalous was still seeking. That Jonah, though he ran opposite, he still came through obedient. That David, though he didn’t compare to the size or stature of his brothers, he came in from that field. Ruth, Simeon, Mary. The Inn Keeper, the Shepherds, Joseph and the Men who came from afar. None of them had it all together. None of them were poster children for the ‘I’m ready’ campaign.
But they all had faith. They all had a greater hope then the situation they found themselves in. They all believed.
This is advent. It’s not pretty or perfect. Not even slow and simple. It’s madness that God gave up heaven to come to earth as a babe. It’s simply preposterous that this babe grew to go to the cross willingly. It’s scandalous that the God of heaven gave up all His comfort and glory to come to this war torn earth knowing that suffering and death would be his story.
It’s beautifully painful.
Why should my story be any different?