Remember when you were young and it was Christmas Eve–you were so excited that you could hardly wait to sleep. I had spent weeks looking at the Sears catalog, marking all the toys I could not live without. You probably also spent some time helping your Mom clean-up the house for company and make Christmas treats. As an adult, the task of cooking, cleaning, shopping, and putting together our family Christmas celebration is now my responsibility as it used to be my Mom’s.
All of these things bring the word preparation to mind. We spend time, money, and energy preparing to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Yet, do we ask Him what He wants for His birthday? Maybe He wants us to stop fighting with each other, think of those less fortunate, or drop a plate of cookies at the senior center. What if we spent as much time preparing our hearts for Christmas as we do preparing our homes for the season? Cleaning our hearts takes hard work and even a few tears at times.
While researching the origin of the Christmas stocking, I found that the tradition began with an everyday chore. Washing stockings at night and hanging them by the fireplace to dry is something every family did in days gone by. What if we washed our hearts through repentance and hung our hearts by the warmth of His redeeming love? I bet we would all be surprised by the overflowing amount of love and joy that would fill our hearts. This would be far more valuable than the toys in the Sears catalog. So this year consider washing your heart of all the pride, jealousies, and bitterness this Christmas season. Hang it all up on the cross of forgiveness and redemption only found in Jesus Christ.