December 23, 2011 - Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Today's Readings

I suppose that many of you are currently in the midst of preparation. Christmas Eve is tomorrow and there are many things to be prepared: food, decorations, last-minute gifts and cards, stockings to be hung by the chimney with care, cookies to be frosted, a turkey to be defrosted. I would bet that some of you have even made a list. You want to be ready. We all agree with the Whos down in Whoville that Christmas is more than presents and roast beast, but such things must still be prepared if they can be. If everyone showed up for the Christmas dinner and nothing was ready, a moral lesson about the true meaning of Christmas would not go over very well.

And if we prepare our homes and tables for honored guests and families, how much more ought we prepare our hearts for the Lord! The Lord is coming, but who can stand on the day of his coming? Will our work and preparations endure? Of course, we are in the position of children, as a mother helps her children make cards for their father, so the Holy Spirit is preparing us for the coming of the Lord. God prepares us for himself, which means that we will have no excuse on the day of his coming if we are not prepared. God will not accept us if we are unprepared, but he will prepare us if we cooperate with him.

There was a time, back in November, when Christmas seemed a long way off. Plenty of time to do what needed to be done. Now Christmas begins tomorrow. From where we stand now, it might seem like the end of the world or our own death is still a long way off, but it will come. On that day, we will stand before the throne of God. We will see Jesus face to face. No excuses will be accepted. We would not even have the courage to offer any. Now is the time of preparation, then it will be too late. Let us make use of this time, good use of this time. We do not have time to kill; we do not have time to waste. The time to prepare is now.