It always amazes me how early people start preparing for Christmas. Someone in the wholesale business told me that they start planning in May to ensure the shops are completely stocked` in time for the festive rush. I saw my first outdoor decorated house with flashing lights and inflatable Santa in mid-October while some shops have been blasting out the Christmas tunes since early November.

I`m also astounded by how many people do their Christmas gift shopping throughout the year while others are `all done and dusted` by the summer. `You can`t beat last minute` is my motto. And when it comes to Christmas food shopping, well, that`s another thing altogether as people `go crazy` in stocking up for the `Big day` as well as for all the parties, family get-togethers and NYE celebrations.

Being prepared is a vital ingredient for many people if their Christmas meals and celebrations are to be a success. We are told that Christmas is the `most wonderful time of the year` and it is after Resurrection Sunday, and for Christians we can easily forget the true meaning of Christmas due to the barrage of TV adverts and the materialistic world in which we live. The Festive Season is all about `being prepared` but not to welcome the nice little baby Jesus but for Christ`s Second Coming.

And whether you are prepared for Christmas or not, make sure your hearts are as we begin Advent. Moreover, no one knows when Jesus will return, so we must always, and as the Scouts would say, BE PREPARED.

To `Be Prepared` means:

1. Living Godly lives.

2. Loving Jesus with all our heart.

3. Devote our time and days to what really matters.

4. Be active in serving Christ and

5. `Pray without ceasing`. [1Thess. 5:17].

So, as you get ready for Christmas make sure you are Spiritually prepared too and there`s no time like the `present'


Pastor Steve