Ready or Not, Christmas is Here

Christmas came quickly this year. As it does every year. The week before Christmas, as I’m receiving Christmas cards from friends, gifts from co-workers and scrambling to finish wrapping my family’s gifts, I promise myself that I’ll be more prepared next year. The next year comes and there are cards left unwritten, some written without postage, and others missing addresses. I sit back in the days leading up to Christmas and sigh, saying, “I had the best of intentions.” But intentions alone do not get things done.

It’s almost as in a game of hide and seek, Christmas counts very quickly and then yells, “Ready or not, here I come.” I’m the hider and I’m not quite in my hiding place yet. And so I scramble.

But what does ready really look like this time of year? Perfectly wrapped presents, shiny ornaments, pretty outfits, thought-out meals, cards in the mail. Even with all of these outward things done, or once we’ve resigned ourselves to them remaining “good enough”, can’t we feel unprepared? I know I do.

I’m not ready for Christmas yet. There’s a restlessness in my heart that remains unsettled. I haven’t been faithful enough in my Advent bible study. There’s some habitual sin that keeps rearing its ugly head. There are ways to serve others and yet, I haven’t found the motivation. My heart and soul are as unprepared for the season as the outward manifestations of the holidays. In my game of hide and seek, once I’ve found my perfect hiding spot, I am not ready to be found.

And yet that is the story of Christmas. Christ comes. “The word became flesh and made its dwelling among us.” He came to dwell in the chaos, conflict and cacophony; with us. He comes into the mess of our best intentions. He comes into our unprepared hearts. He comes, whether we’re ready or not. He invites us to receive the best gift there is – Himself. He comes down from heaven, in the form of a baby who will die for our sins, and He is okay with our unpreparedness. He does not judge our messy, imperfect homes, He knows our broken hearts, and yet He comes.

I’m thankful that he comes. He comes into the chaos of my life and ushers in a better way – His way. He is okay with my unpreparedness, both externally and internally. He is getting me there. He meets me, in my hiding spot as I am with open hands and an open heart. He comes and I am found.

So tomorrow I am thankful to celebrate a Savior who came to meet me and comes to meet me every day in the middle of unfinished and imperfect circumstances. And I look forward to His and my final meeting, when chaos will exist no more and all will be made right again.

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