“He will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17 NIV
For centuries, believers felt it was essential not just to celebrate the birth of Jesus but to prepare for this celebration. They called this four-week preparation “advent” (derived from the Latin word meaning “coming”). This year’s celebration of advent begins today.
However, in our culture, many people engage in a different kind of preparation. Christmas-oriented ads start appearing earlier and earlier. For many, the push is to beat the rush and get “Christmas” shopping done early. In the process, we have been weaned from a spiritual preparation to one that is cultural and commercial.
Yet deep in their hearts, many people long for a change. One recent study reported that 75% of Americans say “there is not enough emphasis on the religious basis for the holiday.” And 85% think Christmas is “too commercialized.”
If you agree, make this season a time to prepare your heart for the Lord. Remember the ministry of John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare His way. John’s focus was not on his own life, but on the Messiah he came to serve.
Today, and throughout this season, ask God to help you prepare your heart. Stop to pray, to reflect, to ponder all that Jesus has done for you. And remember that you can help others prepare their hearts for the Lord. Men and women everywhere are hurting, afraid, worried, and confused. They don’t need a commercial Christmas; they need to know Jesus.
Dedicate yourself to making Jesus the focal point of your Christmas celebrations. Then use this season as an opportunity to witness, to share the love of Christ, and help prepare others that they may know Him!
PrayerFather, help me to focus on Jesus this season. Renew my desire to make Him first. And help me prepare the way so others may know Him too. Thank You. In His name. Amen. Pray for the salvation of more souls through Inspiration Ministries.
Extended ReadingLuke 1