Ah yes, the time of year when all sorts of preparations are being made. It could be for the trip you will be taking around Christmas. Maybe it is the meal you will be preparing as family and friends come over to your home. It could be getting all of the Christmas decorations up, or the shopping that needs to be done before the 25th rolls around. Regardless of what the event, you are or will soon start thinking about how you are going to get it all done.
As I read what we call the Old Testament, I have always seen it as a time of preparation of sorts. Yes, my favorite aspect of reading it is watching the interaction of God with His people for thousands of years. How they messed up time and time again. How God was always there when they turned back to Him. Well, really He’s there before they turned back as we see in the parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke’s Gospel. How block headed and stubborn I can be at times. How I fail again and again. I am no different than they were, and God was, and is, always there.
This preparation is confirmed by Paul in his letter to the Galatians when he writes that the old law was there to lead us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Under the old law Leviticus chapter four tells us that when we are made aware of sin, a sacrifice must be made. It goes on to say blood must be shed in order for those sins to be removed. The writer of Hebrews confirms this, saying that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 9:22). We see how a Priesthood was set up, a High Priest was to be chosen each year from requirements presented by God. Hmmm. . . doesn’t the writer of Hebrews mention again and again about the idea of a new Priesthood. Taking us back again to the idea of preparing man for the entrance of a Savior.
I don’t live under the guidelines of the old law and what came before the arrival of our Savior into this world. I do look and read it with amazement as what our Heavenly Father was preparing for hundreds of years. The details that maybe weren’t understood at the time, though very important. The situations that may make me go “What?!” until I understand the overall plan that it was a part of. God is always at work preparing situations, preparing us as a part of His overall plan. We may not always see it when we are in the middle of a situation, but looking back, as we do with the Old Testament, we see His perfect plan.
What has God been preparing you for this Holiday Season? What situation have or will you be put in to share His love? What person has been put in your life for you to show God’s love to, maybe to ask them to come to services with you, or ask what you can keep in your prayers for them? What situation is there for you to ask, to shine, to love, to glorify God by your actions? God had prepared the world for His Son. As we are preparing for a very commercial holiday, let’s think about the situations God has put us in, how He has prepared us and let’s take the opportunities to share!
Prepared to Serve,