"Let every heart prepare Him room..." Luke: 2:1-7
Scripture Readings: Genesis 3:1–24, Isaiah 9:6–7, Matthew 1:22–23, Luke 1:26–38
This week, I was overly ecstatic to flip my calendar over to December, pick up my freshly cut tree, and jam to some overplayed music, because it's finally my favorite time of year.
Our culture has made it a month of family traditions, friends, good food, laughter, decorating, (hopefully) cooler weather, and a much-needed break. On the other hand, it can also be a month of extreme exhaustion from being overworked with job responsibilities, heartache for those grieving loved ones, stress from finals, loneliness, hopelessness, and overall pain.
As wonderful as it can be, it's a hard time of year, and it looks different for all people. However, as believers in Christ, no matter your current situation, the reason for Christmas, The Messiah, will always be our mutual hope. No matter what we are walking through, We must prepare our hearts this season for the hope of the Messiah. He has changed everything and has made a way for the greatest gift in all creation; He is the reason we rejoice.
As we "prepare Him room" this season, we must go back to the very beginning and remember our desperate need for a Savior.
"The Lord God said to the serpent,
'Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.'" (Genesis 3: 14-15)
That's it. Adam and Eve had wanted to be like God, and thus ate of the forbidden fruit, and then they were eternally kicked out of the Garden because of their mistake. All of mankind was cursed, and we are all born sinners because of it. The consequence of our sin is death, and by ourselves, we have no way of escaping the wrath we deserve, no freedom from our chains that bind us, and no hope whatsoever.
But God, in His great mercy, provided a way for us. He has given a gift of divine grace to all sinners.
"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this."
By His grace, it was prophesied that a great Messiah, Immanuel was coming through a young, virgin girl (Matthew 2:22-23).
"And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there will be no end.'" (Luke 1:30-33)
This is Christmas. Without this prophecy, and without it being fulfilled through Christ, we would have no reason to rejoice, celebrate, and rest in the hope that we have this season, and all year.
So, are our hearts really invested in the meaning of this season? Are we too busy + "tired" to meditate and rest in the promises of the coming Messiah? I know for me, I fall into this all the time. I become too "busy" for my own good, and I start to resent this time of year. But, it's not about us; nothing about this story is. It is about our gracious heavenly Father, His plan to send His only Son, and in turn, through His death on the cross, we can dance free of the chains of sin that bind us. No matter our workload or life situation, let's remind ourselves where our hope lies, and may we be totally saturated in scriptures daily as we prepare to celebrate the magnitude of such a precious gift.
Whether we are on a mountaintop of joy or a valley of darkness right now, we have the greatest hope in all creation. May we find comfort in that, prepare room for our Messiah, and in turn be truly glad that it is Christmas.