And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God,
and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah,
to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
What John the Baptist did for Israel, Advent can do for us. Don't let Christmas find you unprepared. I mean spiritually unprepared. Its joy and impact will be so much greater if you are ready!
That you might be a people prepared. . .
- Decide early whether this is the year to abolish Santa Claus out of your decorations and celebrations and narrations. If you are ever going to be a God-centered family, this American substitute for Christ has got to go. If the truth of God becoming man does not feel more thrilling than the fiction of Santa Claus, then we are blind leading the blind. Where will our children ever learn that none can compare with Christ!!!
- Meditate on the fact that we need a savior. Christmas is an indictment before it becomes a delight. It will not have its intended effect until we feel desperately the need for a Savior. Let the Sunday messages help awaken in you a bitter-sweet sense of need for the Savior.
- Engage in sober self-examination. Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Let every heart prepare him room...by cleaning house.
- Build God-centered anticipation and expectancy and excitement into your home—especially for the children. If you are excited about Christ, they will be too. If you can only make Christmas exciting with material things how will the children get a thirst for God? Bend the efforts of your imagination to make the wonder of the King's arrival visible for the children.
- Be much in the Word, and memorize the great passages! “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord!” Gather 'round that fire this Advent season. It is warm. It is sparkling with colors of grace. It is healing for a thousand hurts. It is light for dark nights.
Preparing with you,