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Christmas finds us unready.

Star of Bethlehem over three trees

Christmas finds us unready.

On the way to our Christmas Eve service tonight I found myself feeling, more than anything, unready. The book of daily advent readings we’ve been going through with our kids is open to day 17; there are presents yet to wrap, and some still being shipped, and some I forgot to order in the first place. Instead of being contemplative and focused on my family or on my God, my heart and mind are full of holiday plans, project deadlines, concerns about our kids—I feel unsettled, unprepared for Christmas.

But as I sat in church it occurred to me that no one has ever been “ready” when Christmas found them. Joseph probably wanted more time to get his pregnant wife home before the birth. Mary certainly would have liked a few more days to find better conditions to give birth. Even Herod would have wanted more time to scheme. The shepherds, religious leaders, the people he came to save—Christ came and found them all before they were “ready” for him.

And there is for me immense comfort in that—the fact that Jesus did not wait until I had my house in order, my deadlines met, my heart right. He came to me before I was ready—he rescued me from myself, not because I had sorted my life out and gotten myself “ready,” but precisely because I never would. As Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

So Merry Christmas, from our unready hearts and home to yours. May our hope be in Him, and not in our own readiness.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as from the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

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