December 2: Running Out of Time to Prepare for Christmas

This post is part of a series of Christmas Devotionals by Dr. John Neihof, president of Wesley Biblical Seminary. You can find all of the devotionals by clicking here.

Scripture passage: Luke 2:21-40

The holidays are hectic. In the midst of the artificial, I am inclined to forget the real. Glitz, glamor, and lights sparkle and shimmer. Shiny wrapping conceals contents unknown, precious or base. Snow covers a brown earth, turned muddy by spring. Sales and advertising attract and allure me toward the shopping mall. My credit card statement climbs higher and higher.

I am preparing for Christmas, but am I making the right preparations? Am I preparing, or am I participating in a parade of pretense that misses the meaning of Christmas altogether. Am I constructing a sort of glitz and glamor of Christmas that obscures its true meaning?

My Christmas preparations are consumed with shopping, wrapping presents, dashing from parties to programs, house-cleaning, cooking, and entertaining. I am exhausted. I have too much to do! I get so tuckered out with it all, I don’t know if I will have the time or strength to even get to the Christmas Eve service at church!

Am I missing something? Preparation is about priority. Are my priorities misplaced? Christmas is about Christ’s coming. Do I even know how to get ready for Christmas? How should I prepare myself to celebrate Christ’s birth?

I think of Simeon waiting at temple. Perhaps Simeon was a retired priest, lawyer, or even a past president of the Hebrew Sannhedrin. He waited for Messiah in the temple, assured by the Holy Spirit that he would see Him before he died. A lifetime of preparation and waiting lived for a moment of assurance and hope!

I think of Anna waiting at temple. She had spent a lifetime preparing for Christ’s arrival. Widowed at a young age, now over one hundred years old, Anna lived in a side room of the Jewish temple. Anna had readied herself through decades of prayer, fasting, and waiting, and then Anna met the Messiah—Jesus. A lifetime of preparation and waiting lived for a moment of assurance and hope!

I think I understand a little bit more. The Holy Spirit is teaching me that I must prepare myself to receive Christ afresh this Christmas, by waiting in preparation in His Presence. I must make knowing Christ my primary priority. So I wait.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Recent Articles

Human Sexuality Conference
January 30, 2023By
WBS Announces New Professor of New Testament
December 19, 2022By
Open Letter on Disaffiliation from the UMC
November 15, 2022By
WBS Reduces Tuition for Students
June 9, 2022By

MDiv programs

The MDiv degree can be taken in one of four programs:

Ministry (78 hours)

Chaplaincy (78 hours)

Ministry with a Biblical languages emphasis (86 hours)

Teaching (87 hours)

Honors Research (87 hours)