“So, are you ready for Christmas?”

Something I wrote in December 2007 when House for All Sinners and Saints was 8 people who met once a month in my living room:

People keep asking me this question: “So, are you ready for Christmas?” What does this mean exactly? It could mean; “So, have you exchanged bits of paper and metal and plastic for other bits of paper and metal and plastic and then wrapped the new paper and metal and plastic in colored paper, marked them with the names of your family members and put them under a tree which has been cut down from where it grows but now stands in your home (or is also comprised of metal and plastic and lives the rest of the year in  a box in a room under which it now stands)? And have you also combined food stuffs so that they have no nutritional value but make those who eat them magically become bigger each day that they are ‘getting ready for Christmas’?” Or does the question “So, are you ready for Christmas?” mean “So, are you fully prepared to receive the one who brings God to humans and humans to God by being both human and God?” The answer to the first is “No. I haven’t had time” the answer to the second is “I’m not sure I really can be”

Am I prepared for the coming of the Christ into the world? no. Am I ready? Absolutely. Some things we are never prepared for. They happen anyway. Am I ready to start a new worshipping community? yep. Am I prepared? Not at all. Oh yeah, I’ve read all the books and have completed my course work and have spent endless hours in emerging church communities, I have an amazing group of people who are committed to do this thing together etc, but I’m not prepared because I think prepared implies that I am aware of what will happen and know how to deal with it all. Seriously, I have no idea what will happen, which is as exciting as it is terrifying.

I’m ready for Christmas because after this season of Advent I really need to hear the story of Christ’s birth again. I need to hear about how God enters fully into the muck of our existence and brings new life. I’m ready for that because I know that I need it.

About Nadia Bolz Weber

I am the founding Pastor at House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. We are an urban liturgical community with a progressive yet deeply rooted theological imagination. Learn more at www.houseforall.org

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    Well-said. I have always been irked by this particular question, and I am glad to see that I am not alone in taking the long way in finding my answer.

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  • jon

    in the last line of your writing are you saying your ready for Christmas because you know you need it or the hearing of the Christmas story(account) or the new life He brings? Please forgive my ignorance if the rules of grammar clearly spell this out. The written word is sometimes like a second language to me.

    a point worth emphasizing is that whatever it is we are preparing for it is not a one day event. Weather we mean to celebrate His birth into the world or our rebirth, His birth into our lives, both are for life, His and ours.

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