When the first Christmas came, when Jesus was born, most people missed it. Of course, there were no telltale signs like reindeer on front lawns. No Christmas songs had been written. There were no colorful, twinkling lights or sales at the downtown market. Children did not find it hard to sleep that night, because it was a night like any other night.
Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.
But the first Christmas was not without its signs, which dated back a few centuries. The Hebrew prophets had predicted the Messiah was coming, and they were very specific in pointing out that he would be born of a virgin in the little village of Bethlehem:
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
On the first Christmas, it was pretty much business as usual. Things had been bleak for the Jewish people for some time. There had been an icy silence from heaven. Four hundred years had passed, and there had not been a single prophet to speak for God. There had been no miracles performed. They were under the tyranny of Rome. Things were very dark. It was time for the Messiah.
Yet when He finally arrived, so many missed it: The innkeeper. The people of Bethlehem. The scholars. Herod. All of Rome. Only a handful of people got it and were ready.
Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth again. The question is, have we done more to prepare for the celebration of a past event than we have for a future one? We may all be ready for Christmas, but are we ready for the return of Christ?
Summary sentence: We may be ready for Christmas, but are we ready for the return of Christ?