Paul and I went grocery shopping last night and filled two carts. I'm having a heaping helping of family over the holidays and I am looking forward to seeing them soon. I have my menu planned, and as I went to write the check for the groceries, the young man at the cash register asked me the question, "So, are you ready for Christmas?" Before I answered, my mind ran through thoughts like a Rolodex card system. Did he mean, for example, are the gifts purchased? Are the decorations up? Are the cards sent out? And before I knew it, out of my mouth came the answer, "If being ready for Christmas means I am ready to celebrate Christ's birth with those I love, and take the time to enjoy the gift of His love with my family, then yes, I am ready." He looked me right in the eye with a cheerful smile and replied, "I know exactly what you mean!" On this Friday night, the week before Christmas, we are ready to celebrate. Because long ago, while the angels rejoiced, Christmas was made ready for us.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, Son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel" (Which means, God with us). Matthew 1:18-23