According to Wikipedia (which isn’t always reliable, but in this case I will take it), Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian Churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
A time of expectant waiting…sounds a lot like having a baby. I can remember when I was pregnant with each of my children. The last couple of weeks before they were born, I went into this crazy mom mode. I cleaned and threw stuff out. I prepared their rooms, their beds, their clothes. I purchased diapers, toys and books. Preparations for these little tiny human beings that were about to come into my home, were taking place in BIG ways. I was what some people like to call – nesting.
Do I nest in expectation of Christ’s birth? Do I prepare the way for my Lord, Saviour and King? Or am I too busy wishing everyone Merry Christmas and jumping to the day of his birth? Do I forget the preparations that need to be done in my very soul before this King arrives to see me? Yes that’s right – to see me – not for me to see Him.
I have to admit, I do forget sometimes about all the things that need to go on in my heart to prepare for Jesus. I do shop ‘til I drop, make plans for big dinner events, and forget to spend time alone in prayer asking for guidance and forgiveness. I am not ready for any King to come into my house. I haven’t even started to prepare the way for my Lord.
With all the hubabaloo of Black Friday or Blue Thursday or rainbow colored Wednesday, we forget that Christmas is not about the presents, the party or the gathering of family. I know that it hard to believe, but Christmas is about preparing our own heart and mind for our King to arrive. Wrapping gifts, decorating, making our yards beautiful with spectacular lights – none of that matters. What matters is that we spend time in silence and alone, praying for God’s forgiveness and asking God to show us how to prepare our minds for Him.
You see if we spend time preparing for Jesus instead of manipulating the true meaning of Christmas – we will be ready for the most important day of the year – the birth of Christ. If we focus on the presents, the party and the spectacle, then we have taken our eyes off of God and placed them on the idolatry of materialism. Isn’t that the exact opposite of what we should be doing during Advent?
Sometimes I feel like the centurion in Matthew who says to Jesus, “”Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Are you worthy for Christ to come to your house? Are you ready? He isn’t looking for presents, a party, or a greatly lit up home. He is looking for your heart. He wants you to be open to His love. He wants you to be ready and willing to change your life and give it up to Him.
Christ is about to arrive – in just 23 days. God is taking human form to show us His goodness and mercy – in person! Are you ready? Are you prepared?