As soon as we celebrate Thanksgiving, we start decorating and preparing our homes to celebrate one of the most beloved holidays. The day after Thanksgiving, most people get consumed by shopping and planning for Christmas, but do we take time to prepare ourselves for receiving the gift of Christmas? Most people don't, but for us, this is the perfect time to start preparing ourselves for what we know is one of the most meaningful celebrations in Christianity. For the next weeks, we must prepare our hearts for Jesus. We must create an environment of expectation and spiritual preparation. In the same way that, quickly after Thanksgiving, we go into Christmas mode and start making plans, all the gift-buying and planning activities to celebrate the holidays, we must prepare ourselves to receive the most valuable gift of all, Christ in our hearts!
Christmas is not all about the gifts; Christmas is all about Jesus Christ and welcoming Him into our lives. Are we prepared to receive Him? Are we ready to surrender our lives to Him? Let's take advantage of the next two months to prepare ourselves! Knowing how crucial it is to prepare our hearts for Christmas, we want to share five ways to prepare your heart:
1. Spend time reading and studying God's Word- There are multiple Advent reading plans that you can search online that would help you with powerful and meaningful studies to prepare yourself for Christmas.
2. Practice teaching your children and teens a Bible Verse daily- There are great Advent calendars you can buy, and you can put a bible verse and a treat on each day for you and your child to discover.
3. Give, Give, Give- A great way to prepare your heart for Christmas is by giving. You can prepare bags for the neighbors, care packages for the homeless, or invite someone to a hot cocoa or a warm dinner.
4. Seek time alone with God- We must take time to rest in His presence.
5. Concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas- Meditate about what the celebrations are all about, and do not let the frenzy of the holidays make you forget what is essential.
We must remember that Christmas is not what consumerism and society have made of it; Christmas is the time to remember the birth of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. It is the time to acknowledge Him, receive Him in our lives, and surrender every area to Him. Yes, we know that December 25 is not an exact date, but it is the date we chose to celebrate the birth of the One that gifted us with Eternal Life by redeeming us of our faults and sins even when we did not deserve it. Please do not get caught up and distracted in the middle of controversy; that's what the enemy wants to do to deprive us of receiving the best Christmas gift. Let's prepare our hearts to receive the greatest blessings. Let's fill ourselves with the Light that is Jesus Christ!