But what would happen if we stopped focusing so much on what we were doing, and pay attention to what God is doing.
I believe we would find ourselves with a lot less stress and a much better perspective of Christmas's meaning.
Take Zachariah for instance - he was the father of John the Baptist. Zachariah was a priest whose mouth was shut by the angel of the Lord when he didn't believe the angel's prophesy that he and his wife would have a child after decades of infertility. Their age was well past childbearing years, and as most of us would, he recognized the impossibility of pregnancy. Throughout the pregnancy, he is mute and only when the baby is born and named John to fulfill the prophesy, does his voice return.
After these months of thinking and reflecting about this experience with God, he has the opportunity to share his feelings out loud. And the song that comes out is magnificent, proclaiming what God has done. He sings of a God who has redeemed the Israelite people and raised up a mighty savior for him. He also says that God is merciful, and remembers his promises made long ago to Abraham, fulfilling them even today.
When you start to think about your Christmas preparations in that way - what is God doing, rather than what we are doing, there is a new perspective. The awareness becomes not about deadlines and tight schedules, but rather paying attention to the little moments around us that might be God sightings. Where is God's redemptive work happening in your life? In moments of reconciled relationships or experiences of profound peace, or assurances of grace, that is God's work. And we are reminded in the words of the angels that "nothing is impossible with God." If we look around, I believe we will find that today God is still keeping promises, even today. Even when we may feel inadequate, unprepared or even mute, God is at work, beyond our doing.
So let us remember this Advent season is not about what we can do, or about our capabilities. This Advent season is about giving glory to what God is doing. And that doing will prepare us for Christmas.
Blessings of God to you and yours,