“She will bear a son…” (Matthew 1:21). Entering the fourth Sunday of Advent, our time for preparation is almost up. There is no stopping time and there is no stopping the birth of Christ on Christmas day. Mary and Joseph knew exactly where to place the newborn King in their lives. Their journey towards Bethlehem has led to God’s arrival on earth in a manner never seen before. It will happen, but will we be ready for Him?
Gabriel told Mary what would happen to her, and now an angel comes to Joseph to tell him what to name his stepson. These messengers of God are speaking about who is coming and the fact that he is coming. Nothing is going to get in the way of God’s divine invasion into the world. This couple is elected, chosen for a unique task in human history and there is a certain time frame they are given. Their role is to prepare for the coming of the one who will change everything.
Jesus’ birth is not a matter of if, but when. During the Christmas season, which usually enters the secular world around Thanksgiving, we see an exhausting amount of commercials and ads that advertise special closeout sales. We are told that each one of these is the sale to end all sales. We have doorbusters and ultimate clearance sales that all have a special time frame or shot clock on them.
Many websites literally place a clock at the top of their webpage that counts down the hours, minutes, and even seconds to when their sale ends. These web designers desire to pressure the shopper into realizing that their action, or rather their inaction, has consequences. If they do not buy certain items soon they will miss out on the sale. They will not be able to save as much money if they do not do something quickly.
The pressure of the holidays is a true reality. There are certain things that must get done and we do not have a tremendous amount of time to accomplish them all. Some items and some things will inevitably be left behind and will not get done. So, we prioritize what is most important and attack that first, with our eyes on the clock. Christmas will come, that is a fact. Therefore, we must check off the boxes and wrap the gifts so we can enjoy the day.
We cannot slow down time or reverse the clock on these websites or in our lives. We cannot stop time from moving forward, we can only choose what we will do with the time we have left before Christ’s coming. What have we spent most of our time doing this Advent? What has taken up most of our thoughts and our actions? Have we spent time looking for God and looking at Him? Or have we only spent time looking at and for presents and our checklists?
If you are like me, then most of your time has been a balancing act between work, family, and preparations for the day of Christmas. I have spent most of my thoughts and efforts on giving things to other people and having enough for everyone, for everyone but for God.
With only three days left until Christmas day, we can place the clock of his arrival at the forefront of our lives and choose to truly prepare for what God’s birth means for humanity. The divine invasion occurs in a small town in ancient times with animals, shepherds, and a poor couple as the major players. There are no trumpets or soldiers to march for His glory, God does not need fanfare.
A child will be born, there is nothing we can do to stop Him from coming. We cannot slow it down, but we can prepare like we never have before. Let us all place a little more pressure on ourselves to contemplate and look for the God who so desperately wants to be a part of our lives.
God will do anything to gain our attention. Let us place the ticking clock of Jesus’ coming at the top of our list so that His definite coming will be a moment that truly reverses our priorities in life.
Christ will be born; Jesus will come. Will we catch Him when He does?