Like me you have had heard or even said to someone, “Well, are you ready for Christmas?” Usually the conversation revolves around the shopping and getting the house ready or what food you are going to have…
But, maybe the real question should be is “Are you ready for Jesus? If you are not sure or don’t know how to “get ready” for the celebration of the birth of Christ, the Messiah, let me pass along a message that I heard on a recent podcast.
In the Luke Chapter 3, John the Baptist gives us the formula for getting ready for the Christ. John told the crowd that we are “to produce fruit in keeping with repentence.” (Luke3:8). Then the crowd asked a question that I’m sure many of us would have asked, “What should we do?”
John tells the crowd in the next few verses exactly what to do to prepare for Jesus. First he says if you have two shirts, give one away. That’s pretty simple, even then, folks would have had an extra shirt to give away. But then he got more serious, he said “anyone who has food should do the same.” This was a much deeper challenge, food was hard to come by and was so difficult to get. Then the tax collectors asked “what should we do?” and John told them to not collect more that you are required to, seems easy but that is exactly how they made their profit. And finally some soldiers asked “what should we do?” and he told them not to extort money and don’t accuse people falsely, which was a big part of their job.
So if I think that if we take John seriously then here is how we are to get ready for Jesus.
First, Give. Don’t just give the things that are easy to part with, but give those things that you value the most: love, time, things etc.
Second, be “just” with people. Treat others with fairness and compassion.
And finally, love others, even those who you may find that are hard to love. Don’t create burdens for others to carry, be a joy in the lives in all of the people you are around.
John says that if we do these things, then we will be ready for Jesus.