Getting Ready to Get Ready1
My Grandpa was a man of leisure. I loved him dearly and wish I could talk with him today. He could work hard if he wanted to and often did. But when it was time to rest and relax he was a champ. So when it was time to go somewhere I would hear him say he was “Getting ready to get ready.” The older I get the more I understand the sentiment.
Every year this season requires some getting ready to get ready. There are a lot of obligations, appointments, events, tasks and responsibilities associated with the way we tend to do Christmas. Every year I want to slow it down, make it last, breathe in the crisp Autumn air as it changes to Christmas Winter and just soak in the beauty of the season and the remarkable awe of the Christ who inspires it.
It’s amazing that Jesus appears in the middle of this same hectic management of chaotic circumstances. In our minds, we want his birth to be more of a fairy tale. We want it to begin with “Once upon a time."
In the middle of a road trip they didn’t want, in a land they didn’t know, fulfilling obligations they most certainly didn’t request, here comes the baby.
There are volumes of scriptures, teachings and traditions from the Old Testament, all designed to get them ready for the coming of the Messiah, yet here he comes bursting onto the scene, and they still missed it except for Herod, whose power was threatened.
The people who most wanted a Messiah were just too busy or too programmed to see the light? Hindsight is 20-20 so they say, but it’s as if they ignored Micah 5:2-4 on purpose:
But you, Bethlehem, David’s country,
the runt of the litter—
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule Israel.
He’ll be no upstart, no pretender.
His family tree is ancient and distinguished.
Meanwhile, Israel will be in foster homes
until the birth pangs are over and the child is born,
And the scattered brothers come back
home to the family of Israel.
He will stand tall in his shepherd-rule by God’s strength,
centered in the majesty of God-Revealed.
And the people will have a good and safe home,
for the whole world will hold him in respect—
Peacemaker of the world! MSG
Here’s the thing, we can’t be too hard on them because we have the same problem. I’ll miss it. I’ll waste my chance. I’ll get too busy, preoccupied, biased with my own opinions and preferences and walk blissfully unaware of the blessing of the Messiah right smack in front of us.
And so will you. You ought to be getting ready to get ready.
Don’t let Dec. 26 come around and you haven’t found a quiet place with the Word or a hymn or just the quiet voice of the Spirit and listen.
If you need some help do this: Carve out some time, find a spot, get alone, get quiet and follow this link to listen to this song.
You probably remember this group singing this very song right here at Meadowood. It is stunningly beautiful. I hope it blesses you the way it does me each year.
Tell the Good News!