I’ve rarely been so ill prepared for Christmas, at least Christmas in the traditional sense. Almost no decorations, just a little light or two. Almost no gifts purchased, none wrapped. No cards sent, just a couple of texts.

But maybe I’m more ready than I have ever been. Maybe this season will seem more like Advent and less like a cultural experience. Maybe this year I am finally waiting, preparing, pondering things in my heart. Maybe this season I am looking beyond the manger to the cross, beyond the heavenly host to the empty tomb. Maybe I am finally ready to embrace the baby, the man, the Word dwelling—present tense—among us.

Come, oh come, Emmanuel. Maybe, in the midst of my not-readiness, I’m ready to mean it.