So comes the call ringing down through the ages. From the voice of Isaiah the prophet through to the raspy preaching of John the Baptist, so goes out the call. Are you prepared for the Savior?
Why is it that we are aware of NEED only around Christmas time? Because this is the one time of year when people feel like giving. So much good is done in the name of Christmas, from giving to the hungry, to buying presents for poor children, to dropping a few extra coins in the kettle. And many have appropriated Christmas as their prime giving season, with names like the Salvation Army, the Angel Tree, the Toys for Tots, and so on: so many people doing so many good things, and so much need to be filled. However, year after year, it seems like there is more need than the last. In working with the needy, I’ve learned that they fall into two camps, the truly needy and the greedy.
This problem of NEED reminds me of a verse in Proverbs: “The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”:” (Pro 30:15) The leech is a loathsome creature, and far be it from me to compare the current problem of poverty, homelessness and need with the leech, but the Proverb makes a peculiar point, using the leech as an example. Do those that are needy ever say, “enough”? You can usually spot those that are needy from those that are greedy with this one question. The needy are grateful for what they receive, while the greedy always want a little more.
But the greedy aren’t found merely in the soup kitchens or the welfare offices. They can often be found behind a desk, or in a shopping mall, or anywhere goods can be bought and sold. Christmas tends to make the greedy a bit more obvious, with people fighting over dolls on black Friday, or taking back gifts they didn’t like the day after Christmas, just to get their money back.
So I have to ask, are we preparing for the Savior? Or for a cornucopia of Christmas bliss on December 25th? Christmas bliss is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t last. Christmas cheer is fleeting. But joy in Jesus is eternal. Would you rather enjoy 25 days of Christmas cheer, or an eternity of joy in Jesus Christ? For the Christian, Christmas isn’t just a holiday that comes once a year, but it is a forever joy that instills every day with peace, love, and cheer for the Christ who has come to give us these great gifts, whose Father sent Him “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2:7)
Are you prepared for the Savior this Christmas?