Prepare for Christmas
Preparing for a baby has taken on a life of its own in the last century or two. People throw baby showers to help the young couple prepare. Parents design themed nurseries and purchase cribs and gadgets galore to prepare for the new arrivals. Grandparents and friends fill the newborn’s closet with onesies and rompers, dresses or cute little suits, hats, blankets, and tiny little shoes. Mary and Joseph didn’t have this experience, nor do millions of parents in developing nations or poverty-stricken homes. Even so, expectant parents prepare for a child’s arrival. Mary prepared by visiting a beloved aunt, crying out to God for guidance, and even singing God’s praise. Joseph prepared by listening to an angel, sheltering his pregnant fiancée, and registering his family at the latest Roman census. As we prepare to welcome the Christ child yet again, we may not feel any more ready than Mary and Joseph did. But we can still cry out to God for guidance, visit beloved family and friends for support, and even sing God’s praises. We can listen to the wise angels God sends into our lives, shelter people who depend on us, and stand up as sisters and brothers of Christ. Whether you’re ready for the hullabaloo of Christmas is no more important to Christ than the giant baby showers or fancy nurseries are to a newborn baby. What is important is the heart of the parent—a heart ready to receive and love their child with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. To prepare for the Christ child is simply to prepare ourselves to love Christ with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, not just at Christmas, but each and every day.