Preparations: Ready or not

by | Dec 10, 2023

How is it going with your preparations for Christmas? Do you decorate your house inside and out? Do you have a tree up and decorated? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Have you started?

Preparations come with anticipation. The point of preparations is that which we’re expecting to happen.

In framing a home, we use chalk lines a lot. They’re part of the preparation for a step to follow. The lines soon fade and disappear, but as we lay them down, we do so in expectation of the wall, siding, shingles, or whatever the chalk-line is there to guide. While a perfect chalk-line is good and necessary, it is not the final result.

In our companion book, Letters to Santa, the town of Evergreen is preparing for Christmas. Meanwhile, Lisa and Kevin are preparing the Country Store to show to a prospective buyer. As the two gather materials for the store, they come across a mysterious key that they give to Thomas’ son, David, to search for the lock it opens.

One building that gathers attention from several residents is a local church. They held the annual Christmas festival there year after year. Kevin remembered when you could hear the church bells from anywhere in town. Unfortunately, the bells stopped working years ago and no one could figure out how to get them going again.

Sadly, the prospective buyer decided against purchasing the store. And this week’s chapters ends with Lisa feeling responsible for the sadness felt by both Ezra and Kevin. All of her preparations and hopes seemed in vain.

According to ancient prophecy, preparations would come before the Messiah. A voice in the desert would call all people to repent for their past mistakes and move forward in anticipation of the One coming.

Christians believe this voice was John the Baptist, a relative of Jesus, born a short time before Him. John’s father was told before his birth that his son was the fulfillment of a prophecy.

John was a strange man by ordinary standards. For example, John dressed differently than others and ate different foods. Most important, John was certain of his role in the salvation of humanity. He was to call others to prepare for the arrival of the Messiah.

Jesus and John first met while still in their mother’s wombs when Mary visited John’s mother, Elizabeth, while pregnant herself. Mary knew the plans God had for her Son, although short on detail.

I will send my messenger ahead to open the way. Someone is shouting in the desert, “Get the road ready for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel!”
Mark 1:1-8

Jesus and John would meet again as adults, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before this happened, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. And we choose Christmas for this celebration.

But Christmas is still a couple of weeks away. Meanwhile, we prepare for the celebration. Decorations are great and pleasing to the eye. But they’re external. And bulbs burnout, live decorations dry out, and we put them all away after Christmas.

However, our preparations on the inside are eternal. How will you prepare your heart for celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? He is the main reason we choose to celebrate. He makes joy possible.

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A reminder that we publish this newsletter that we call the Circuit Rider each week. You can request this publication by email. Send a request to or let us know when you send a message through our website. We post an archive of past editions on our website under the tab, Connect – choose Newsletters.

Pastor Tommy


Parts of our series was inspired by Nancy Naigle. Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa. Hallmark Publishing..© Crown Media Family Networks, 2019.

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