John 1:23 – John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah: "I am 'the voice of someone shouting in the desert: Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!'" (GNB)
In Cameroon during the period of Advent, Christians and non-Christians alike keep money (in njangi houses, a community-based system), animals, and birds (especially chickens) to be used in celebrating Christmas. Parents are aware that they must buy new clothes for their children. Families who are not well-to-do try at least to prepare rice and meat to be eaten that day. During this period, many families break apart, sometimes on account of unsupplied items for Christmas celebrations.
Around the world, we see people preparing to travel great distances from one place to another to meet friends or family members for a wonderful celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In Cameroon, those who live abroad, popularly known as "Bush Fallers", come back home with what they have gathered throughout the year for Christmas celebrations.
As we plan our celebrations and travels, let us be aware of the dangers of being so concerned about meeting the outward financial and material expectations surrounding Christmas that we forget to make the inward spiritual preparations. Let us totally surrender our whole selves to Christ Jesus as we prepare to celebrate His birth. He is not going to be born as a child again, because He has already done that once, which led to His death on the cross, whereby He washes away our sins. Now, we anticipate His second coming, to take with Him those who trust in Him and are doing His will.
Let us use this remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to take control of every aspect of our lives. Let us give love, reconciliation, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control a chance this year. In this way, we will be making a straight path for the Lord to travel during His second coming. We are called to be ready at all times!
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for our lives to date. We pray that You will help us this year to make a change spiritually, so that we will not concentrate solely on material and financial preparations in getting ready for the remembrance and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.