Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent...Season of Preparation

As I ready the house, decorate the tree, attend Christmas cantatas, buy and wrap presents, write my Christmas letter, and think about baking, I admit, it's easy to overlook the reason for all this busyness.

I'm preparing to celebrate the birthday of a baby who is Christ the King, Savior of the world, the Prince of Peace, Jesus. 

His rule is peace and freedom, and justice, truth and love.

But I have to tell you, the Prince of Peace has gotten a bad rap. His followers are far from perfect, far from able to mirror Him, but not for lack of trying. Sometimes the harder we try, the farther off the mark we are -- giving fodder for skeptics to judge Him wrongly. But in spite of us and our mistakes, He remains perfect and the redeemer of all mankind.

This Christmas season, as in seasons past, I hope for peace and goodwill among all people of every tribe, nation, and faith. I believe that one day the hills and valleys will be leveled and bumpy roads made smooth. I believe in the power of a loving God who has made a way for humanity to eventually and finally get it right.

Every Christmas season I see the potential for it to happen. People who are kind and giving, loving and cheerful. I hear of folks who go out of their way to help the down trodden. I see people making efforts to love their neighbors. And it's contagious. Goodwill breeds goodwill! I too am moved to join the ranks of do-gooders as I see people blessing people, giving up old grudges and prejudice, caring for the marginalized and those less fortunate. Ambassadors and servants one and all to the Prince of Peace whether they know it or not.

"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40

This Sunday we light the 3rd advent candle. We are half way through the waiting season, the time of preparing, and then, ready or not, Christmas comes. I'm so glad God didn't wait for us to be ready, to be cleaned up, with our homes and affairs and our lives in order, before sending our Savior, our Redeemer, the Prince of Peace. Yes, there will be peace on earth when He comes to rule in truth and justice and love.

Forget the cookies, and presents, and decorated trees... Prepare ye the way, in your heart, for the Prince of Peace.

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