Thursday, December 9, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

Have you ever wanted to go to the Olympics as a spectator?  Or how about World Cup Soccer?  They only come around once every four years and people all over the world look forward to the event...and plan. Then plan some more.

I'm a huge Winter Olympics fan.  I also love World Cup Soccer.  If I wanted to attend either of these events it would require planning and saving money over a period of time.  I remember when the World Cup was here in the US and I hadn't saved enough, so I couldn't go.  I also remember when the Winter Olympics were going to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I was going! I had four years to plan and save.

Then the time came and I was left wanting.  I missed out because I had waited too long and didn't do what I had said I was going to do.

The closest I ever came to an Olympic Park was when we went skiing in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  We made a stop where the 1988 Winter Games were held in Calgary and went to the top of the lift for the Ski Jump.


That's me and my little Lauren. Cold and windy.

Well, at least we got to ski the gorgeous mountains where all the Olympic skiers had been!

Not the same is it?

Has there ever been a time when you felt like you missed out because you didn't plan properly?  Do you think that is how Joseph felt when he arrived in Bethlehem with Mary who needed a place to rest and give birth and found nothing available?  Do you think God messed up that one little detail?

From the book Why the Nativity? by David Jeremiah:

Day 9 - December 9th
"Why was there no room in the inn?"
He writes:
"Accepting humanity's rejection even in his birth, Jesus sent a message of stubborn, unbreakable love to the world. We would not afford him so much as a cramped closet; we had no room for him, no time to stop and worship, no interest in a peasant child. But that same Child came to find room for us. He would, one day, reserve accommodations for each of his own children at the Inn that awaits us on eternal shores.
Before leaving on that final journey, he told his disciples, "There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2). Homeless no more, he would throw open the doors of heaven, so that no one might be left in the cold."
The manner in which Dr. Jeremiah prefaced his final thoughts, painted a vivid picture for me of what little Bethlehem must have looked like around Jesus' birth.  I saw myself in a sea of people trying to get from one place to another.  I saw myself trying to get to a stadium to watch a match during the World Cup.  I saw myself traveling with all of my cold weather gear to watch Olympic downhill skiing.

Would I really have slowed down enough to enjoy where I was?

Are you?

God didn't miss a single detail in the timing of Christ's birth.  He knew every part of how it would unfold and how it would be received. There is no such thing as bad planning on God's part.  He just wants you to slow down and find the beauty around you.

Christmas is coming. Prepare. It just wont' be the same if you don't.

The book Why the Nativity? is a wonderful tool I am using to remind myself to slow down and prepare my heart to celebrate Christmas.  Here's the link:

  Get a copy for yourself if you can.

Blessings for your day,

1 comment:

  1. A few things that occurred to me about the stable:

    1) It was probably the only place in Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph could have anything like peace and quiet. They were ALONE at a time when NO ONE was alone. She was able to give birth in private.

    2) It made it much easier for the shepherds to find them. They were in a stable, not room 224. Can you see it? "Aw, man, we went to the baby in 324! Ooops!" No mistaking which baby they were to worship. :)


Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I look forward to reading your thoughts and sharing this space with you.