“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Luke 1:41 NIV
I love the story of leading up to the birth of Jesus when Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was carrying John the Baptist. Both of these women were carrying miracles babies. They had a special pregame season leading up to birth announcements that would change the world forever. Mary went to visit Elizabeth. “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Elizabeth began to prophesy and Mary responded in praise. It was a celebration like never before.
Like Mary and Elizabeth, how can we take a pause and celebrate the hope, new life and purpose that Christmas unleashes in us all? How will we make time to ponder the miracle of God’s greatest gift before the travel, hosting, wrapping takes over? What can we do to prepare for the season ahead?
Here’s my favorite Christmas Pregame strategy:
1. Prepare your heart. Each December I read a daily devotional, The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp. The subtitle is on point. It truly unwraps the full love story of Christmas. Find it here. Send some to your friends and family. I’m grateful for the friend who first sent it to me.
2. Pray for family and friends you will visit over the holidays. This will prepare your heart to be a blessing to them, and it’s a great way to overcome tough relationships.
3. Spend time alone with God. We are celebrating Emmanuel, God with us, and yet, how much time are we spending with Him? Make time for a walk with God. Or, find a closet and some earphones and soak in a beautiful song of praise. Here are a couple of favorites. Hallelujah and Noel
4. Ask God. Who needs an extra hug this season or a special reminder of how much they are loved? These gifts will be the ones you most remember giving.
5. Bring games. If you want a Christmas full of joy, begin with laughter. Games bring people together, bring out the child in each of us, form new alliances and neutralize conflict. I’m not talking about Risk or Scrabble. Or, other seemingly innocent games like Uno that can divide a family over extra rules. I’ve seen it happen:) Thanks to a dear friend, my favorite new game is Hollywood Game Night. If you want to watch the most proper person in the room get scrappy, try this one. Make sure someone is recording. You will enjoy it through Easter.
Christmas is meant to ignite great joy within us.
What is your Christmas Pregame?