Christmas Eve is fast approaching here in Vermont. The sun is already getting lower in the sky, and the candles are out at the church, ready to go. As for me, I’m getting there. A few more things to do, and I’ll be ready too.
But, really, I’d love just one more day. One more day to wrap presents. One more day to build that gingerbread house we bought. One more day to write the sermon I want to preach tonight. The reality, though, is whether I’m ready or not, Christmas is coming.
That’s true spiritually as well. Our spiritual life may be something that we put on a shelf and say “I’ll get to it soon…when I have everything else done…when I’m ready.” But, ready or not, God comes and breaks into our life when we least expect it.
The story of Jesus’ birth is a story of an unexpected arrival. Mary wasn’t expecting to become pregnant. The inn wasn’t expecting for the parents of God incarnate to come knocking on the door. And they weren’t expecting to be turned away and given just a barn and a manger.
The world wasn’t ready either. They weren’t ready for a savior who came in the form of a powerless baby. They weren’t ready for the person he grew up to become. And they weren’t ready for the things he preached. Things like peace, and justice, and loving each other as much as we love ourselves.
The world is still not ready for this. And that’s why we need it more than ever.
Tonight, ready or not, open your heart up to the one who has come to change everything. Open your heart up not just to the child in the story we read, but to the living Christ who wants to enter into our hearts. Open your heart up to what is about to happen next, if you only follow that Christ with your whole life. Because, ready or not, something wonderful is waiting.
May Christ’s love bless you this Christmas, and always.