It came upon the midnight clear,
that glorious song of old,
from angels bending near the earth
to touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to all,
from heaven's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
to hear the angels sing.
I don’t typically feature photographs of Rebekah cooking. She is entirely capable, she just doesn’t do it a lot. Partly because we just fell into the pattern of me handling dinner back when the kids were in elementary school, and partly because I not only enjoy cooking but – apparently- tend to get a little territorial in the kitchen!
Anyway, Rebekah gave me a heads up Saturday morning that she was going to be baking all day, and planned to use every bowl, every ingredient, every accessory, and every square inch of counter space.
So I cleaned everything right after breakfast and left her to it. The next few hours were a literal whirlwind of flour, butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate.
The results have been beyond amazing. But what it really makes me think of this morning, on the fourth Sunday in Advent, is how important preparation is when it comes to anything worthwhile – and that especially applies to the coming of the newborn King. All the ingredients in place; everything focused and ready; searching the ancient writings/menus for instructions along the way; carefully following through.
Whatever we’re up to, preparation turns out to be most of the job.
It’s going to be a great party!
Back when we lived in Pensacola Rebekah and I hosted an annual Christmas Party for our Sunday morning class. It was a huge group of folk, overflowing with young families and new babies and always bursting at the seams. It was, like every new ministry we ever started, something we needed ourselves and then everyone else came too!
The party was our gift to our friends, so we did all the prep ourselves. And by “we” I mean Rebekah, because it was 75% about baking and I may be a good cook but I can’t bake worth a hoot.
She baked for two weeks. Then we cleaned for three days. Then we cleaned some more, and did the finishing touches, and I got all the ice and the drinks, and we made hug pots of spiced tea, and the children practiced carrying around trays of food, and then we opened the doors.
And it was always the best of the best of best of parties. It lasted from 4:00 to 9:00 and the house looked amazing and there were always more than one-hundred people and we were exhausted but happy.
But oh my goodness what a difference preparation makes.
Before that first Christmas, God had been preparing to send his son into the world for goodness knows how long. You can read about some of what had been going on in Isaiah, and everything had to come together in just the right way for this miracle to come to pass.
This miracle that is Christmas. Just seven days away now but several millennia in the making.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
by prophet seen of old,
when with the ever-circling years
shall come the time foretold
when peace shall over all the earth
its ancient splendors fling,
and the whole world send back the song
which now the angels sing.
Can you hear it? Can you make your way to church, and stand with a community of believers who are willing to receive The Song? And can you sing it?
It is never too late to get ready….
Can you hear the angel’s song? – DEREK