How Prepared Are You? 

Black Friday, get-all-you-can-day, comes directly after be-Thankful-for-what-you-have-Day. Ironically paradoxical isn’t it? After feeding on bounty and gratefulness we rise from our fattened seats ready to grab and conquer. 

Christmas preparations begin in earnest. Preparedness defined by the Cambridge dictionary means, “ready to deal with a situation.” 

Advent, the drum beat between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, anticipates Christ’s birth. Much as Israel waited for the coming of a Promised Messiah, this season between holidays readies us for the coming of a King. 

I confess to a bit of holiday panic on the heels of my heart of thanksgiving. I’m not sure I’m “ready to deal with the situation.”I’m catapulted into holiday rush. Gifts. Tree. Decorations. Food. Are you prepared? 

A different kind of preparedness, one that readies the heart for worship of a newborn King combats with my to do list. Much of what I do to prepare for Christmas seems at odds with who I am to be during the season. My focus on the Person whom the holiday honors easily becomes secondary to other preparations.    

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.’” Isaiah 40:3-5 KJV

Isaiah spoke these words hundreds of years before the birth of a baby, fully God, fully man, born in Bethlehem. The prophet addressed a nation waiting for relief, a people scattered and forlorn. Yet, he described a scene of preparedness, a readiness which would herald the arrival of a King greater than all other kings. 

Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

In Isaiah’s time, preparing the way for kings to enter a land involved garnering supplies and transporting them. Obstructions needed removal. Uneven terrain plained. It meant intense labor. Forerunners, sent ahead, established a course of action to ready the ground for the coming king. Making bridges, lowering hills, removing boulders, and creating passable roads set the way. The king’s arrival brought major overhaul.   

This preparedness foretold by Isaiah came to fruition when John the Baptist cried out from the wilderness of Judea. (Luke 3:5) He prepared the way for Jesus by proclaiming a message of repentance. Obstacles razed, hearts softened. Many believed and were baptized, hopeful of a new King, the One for Whom they had long waited.  

And I wonder in this advent season filled with anticipation, what obstructions are in my way? Are there mountains and hills I should remove as part of my Christmas preparedness? Are the frenzies of Christmas readying my family to worship the aura of a season or to celebrate the King of Kings? 

How prepared are you? 

In these weeks heralding the Christmas season let’s make sure of our preparedness. Are we giving Him our time? Do our paths lead straight to the King or are there unleveled tortuous paths which need leveling? Are we like forerunners pointing the way, clearing the mountains, hills and valleys for others to see and know Him? 

How prepared are you not just for the magic of Christmas but also for the wonder of the Christ? 

May our souls wait with expectation. The King has come!


*feature photo by Yana Gorbunova on Unsplash

9 Replies

  1. Nancy E. Head Reply

    I especially like your conclusion. There is magic in Christmas; there is wonder found in Christ. May our preparations honor Him and turn our hearts toward deeper faithfulness. Thanks, Sylvia. God bless!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I appreciate it Nancy. It is sometimes difficult for me to have the right balance. My prayer is also, may our hearts honor Him and turn toward deeper faithfulness. Thanks so much.

  2. Lois S. Reply

    Are the frenzies of Christmas readying my family to worship the aura of a season or to celebrate the King of Kings? The thought of worshipping the aura of a season is poignant– it feels easy to do. I hope we can instead worship Christ.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Yes! How I want that to be true in my life. It is so easy to let myself be caught up in the busyness and forget the marvelous King. Thanks Lois!

  3. Barbara Latta Reply

    Each Christmas gives us opportunity to refject on the reason Jesus was born. As we grow in wisdom and knowledge we can have a more intimate relationship with Him. Merry Christmas, Sylvia!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Barbara. I always enjoy digging into the Christmas season with a Bible in hand, and I’m never disappointed with the discoveries. Such a wonderful plan and what amazing truths about Jesus’ birth! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I hope your Christmas is full of joy!

  4. Katherine Pasour Reply

    You’ve described the paradox of Christmas holidays exactly–How do we balance the preparation for the busy season with the celebration of the birth of our Lord. Thank you for reminding us what Christmas is all about. Wishing you and yours blessings during the season and into the New Year.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you Katherine. It seems to be a repeated cycle doesn’t it? Learning to give Christmas to the One it belongs to happens again and again. Thank you for reading and adding your words and wisdom. Merry Christmas to you too!

  5. Annie Yorty Reply

    “Are there mountains and hills I should remove as part of my Christmas preparedness?” Great question, Sylvia. I will consider this as I celebrate Advent. Thank you!