Often I think of how fast I see the Christmas decorations come up during Thanksgiving or right after “the big game” and I think to myself, “Wow, that was quick!”.  But this year, I was quite bothered in the fact that right after Halloween, I saw Christmas decorations up! Yes, right after the Gorilla mask or the Sponge Bob costume went back into storage, out came the wreaths, the holly, the ivy, the Rudolph, the Frosty, the lights and tinsel and many other “Christmas” things.  I was quite dismayed because, you see, I’m a big proponent of Advent and of having those weeks to prepare myself to celebrate the birth of Christ.  In scripture, we are often reminded to “be ready” (Matthew 3:1-12) for we know not when the master will call us home.  And yet, we are so filled with anxiety and anticipation of “the ultimate gift” that we steamroll past Advent right into Christmas and forget any of the preparation that is so important to our spiritual lives.

So this year, I’m asking all of you to take the time and use this Advent Season of only 25 days to truly reflect on your journey with Christ.  Are you making time for Him?  Are you calling out to Him?  Are you being silent and allowing Him to speak to you?  Or are you telling Him, “Well, the Bears play in 15 minutes, after that I’ll say a prayer or two…”  If all we want for Christmas are two front seats to see the Lion King on Broadway… then we’ve missed the boat.

Use this time of Maranatha to prepare your hearts for the Christ Child- to bask in the season of Advent and to watch and pray (Matthew 3:12).  To silently reflect if you are on the same page as our Savior, and if you’re not, using the time to reconcile with Him and get back on track.  And don’t feel guilty, it’s not about “doin’ Advent time”, it’s about offering, about giving a bit of yourself and getting much back in return.

And remember… Christ will come into this world regardless or not if we are ready.  Christmas will be here before we know it.  But before we open that present we’ve been shaking for two weeks, before we sing “Over the river the through the woods…”, before we even make that return trip to Walmart to return the bright pink and purple tie we received from Aunt Edna, let’s take the time to render our hearts unto the Lord.

Think about it, pray about it, and then just do it. 

Prepare ye the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3-5)

Christmas comes but once a year, but Advent also does as well.