Are you ready for Christmas?

from Rosemary Read, Houses of Prayer network

I was struck the other day that at this time of the year you hear so many folks asking each other ‘are you ready for Christmas?’ and we know immediately what they are asking! ie have you bought all your presents, put up your decorations and got all your food in?

We can even go into a shop and the assistant whom we’ve never met before will ask the same question.

I felt the Lord say to me that so many people are getting into the Spirit of Christmas’ but don’t acknowledge the person to whom they are celebrating. Imagine a group of folks have organised a surprise birthday party for you and you turn up but it’s like you are invisible because no one can see you, hear you or touch you! Or maybe it’s your wedding and you are either the bride or groom and everyone at the wedding are eating and drinking and celebrating, but again you are entirely invisible- try and put yourself for a minute in the shoes of the invisible bride or groom!

I then considered that if you take the last three letters away from this question, you then have ‘ARE You Ready For Christ’

This is the question we really have to ask ourselves firstly and then ask others.

In Jewish tradition, a groom to be would ask his betrothed to marry him, but the actual time and date of the marriage ceremony would be kept a secret from the bride. She had to be ready at any time over the coming months because she had no idea when the groom would call her to come to the marriage supper. This would mean she would keep herself chaste and pure and would even be ready in her bridal garments!  

When she was called she would go immediately and those called to the celebration would also come immediately. Once everyone was present, the doors of the building would be shut and anyone who was late would not be allowed to enter. Does this have a familiar ring to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb?

So I guess I feel our Heavenly Father is challenging us to take this question seriously. He wants us to relax, enjoy the company of our family and friends over this period, to bless others and impart joy and hope to those who have none, but above all to remember why we are celebrating the momentous time in history when our Saviour came from Heaven to earth to save the lost and reconcile them to their Heavenly Father.

One last thing- I always know when God is speaking and prompting – He gives another confirmation fairly quickly. So Sunday morning 18th December, I shared this with my husband Peter and he was quite startled because he said the same words had been going through his head as well – Are you ready for Christmas? He was also questioning why folks keep asking complete strangers the same question. I’m left thinking that maybe those who are asking are wondering ‘is there more to all this celebrating at Christmas time?’

So I’m thinking- next time someone asks you ‘Are you ready for Christmas’ is God giving you an opportunity to share the truth of what Christmas is really about’. 

If you feel uncomfortable about sharing this or there isn’t time, let’s try to at least say a prayer for that person and whether they know you have prayed or not, let’s make every opportunity count this Christmas. May all of you who read this have a very blessed Christmas and may the Groom of the Wedding Feast be welcomed into your homes.

Rosemary Read 20-12-22