My kids cleaned up yesterday.
It was a Christmas miracle, I tell you!
What's the secret, you ask?
Hold your horses! I have to back up a bit...
On Sunday, the sermon was about preparing for the King. The pastor talked about how Levi (Matthew) prepared a grand banquet for Jesus. He knew that Jesus was the King and so he prepared for a king. Then he talked about how a pharisee invited Jesus over for dinner, and gave him no special treatment.
On Saturday, we will be celebrating our King. The pastor asked us if our families make Christmas about the King, preparing a grand banquet for Him or do we just invite him over for dinner and have him sit at the kiddie table?
I have been struggling to figure out how to really teach my children that Christmas is amazing - because we are celebrating the King and yet we get all the gifts. When I heard this sermon, I was motivated - this Christmas was going to be about Jesus!
So, fast forward to yesterday (well, one day later...) we needed some Christmas music. Don't get me wrong, I love Frosty and Rudolph, snow and pretty packages. I love Santa coming to town (it's a great behavior modification tool) and chestnuts roasting by the open fire. However, those things exist because Christmas exists...Christmas does not exist for those things. So, I found a station on line that played real Christmas music, you know - the ones about Bethlehem and silent nights, angels singing and the faithful adoring Him? That, my friends, set the tone.
And surprisingly, even for my kids whose favorite songs are Jingle Bells and Rudolph, their attitude became more reverent when hearing songs about Baby Jesus...they even know how miraculous it all is. And then I huddled my kids and told them we needed to get ready.
"To celebrate the King!"
"The King? A King is coming to our house?"
"Well, Christmas is about what?"
"Well, we are going to celebrate Jesus' birthday on Saturday, and shouldn't we get our home ready to celebrate for Him? If he walked into our home right now, do you think He would feel like we really prepared for Him, or do you think He would feel like He really isn't a big deal?"
"He would think we don't care. But we do! We better start cleaning!"
My kids began running around the house - picking up toys, cleaning walls, washing the fridge, even organizing the silverware and utensil drawers! The house needed to get ready for the King!
So - after the house was clean and the kids were feeling a little tired, but even more excited than when we had begun, they looked at me. "What about the outside Mommy?"
"The outside of what?"
"We need to hang lights! Jesus needs to know we are ready to have a party! Jesus needs to see our house!!!"
Wait right there - we don't do lights. Not that I am against lights, but Dave works all the time, and hanging up lights with the kids at my feet does not seem like an enjoyable holiday tradition. But in that moment, when they were all making a very legitimate point, I agreed: We must hang up lights outside - because, after all, we are preparing for the King!
So, now that my kids are napping, I will go hang up lights. Thankfully Jesus will look at my heart and not at my ability to hang up lights!
Have a very merry Christmas!