“[Joseph] went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.” (Luke 2:1-14)

Today I went shopping for the last gift on my list for this year. As I checked out with the cashier she asked if I was ready. “Are you ready for Christmas?” What she meant was, did I have more gifts to buy, more presents to wrap, or more cookies to bake? “No,” I said. “This is the last present I need to buy. I’m ready.”

Are you ready for Christmas? And lest you panic on this December 23rd because you still have a few more “to-do’s” to check off the list, I am asking a different kind of question. Instead of picturing me at the check out line, I want you to picture Mary. I want you to picture Mary, nine months pregnant, beside Joseph, sitting astride that donkey as they travelled to Bethlehem.

There was probably no person in history as ready for Christmas as Mary. After seeing my wife go through the last weeks of pregnancy, there was no way I was going to get her on a donkey to go back to my hometown, or anywhere for that matter. So, I imagine how ready Mary was for that baby to be born. And not only for the obvious relief, but also to see this miracle that the angel had announced nine months before take place.

I’m not asking that we are as ready for Christmas as a pregnant Mary was, but perhaps when we talk about being ready for Christmas it should have less to do with what we purchased at Ten Thousand Villages and more about our excitement to once again see the miracle of God being born anew in our hearts.

Peace in Christ,

Pr. Dan Joyner Miller