“Let every heart prepare Him room!”¹
The word “Advent” means to come, and beginning on Sunday we will be preparing our hearts and souls for the coming of Jesus once again. But how might we prepare? Let’s imagine we are preparing for Jesus as we would prepare for any other guest…
First, we extend an invitation. Jesus is always present, always inviting us to be with him. Advent gives us the opportunity to answer his invitation with our intentional invitation for him to be with us! Our invitation is an open heart that asks him in and encourages him to stay.
We wonder how much has changed since the last Christmas- not in Jesus, of course, but in us. Have we grown in any way? Have we learned any new ways of being or serving? Did we make a few missteps here and there? We take time to reflect on our past year, bringing our moments before the light of God for clarity and discernment.
We joyfully recall our previous times together. As we reflect on the past year, we also name our many blessings. We remember our God-moments and gratefully notice how much God has helped us along the way.
We make space for Jesus. We set aside time in our busy schedules to have space for his presence. We get rid of the clutter in our hearts by confessing and ridding ourselves of all that distracts us from him. We decorate his room- our hearts- with all of the things he loves, such as kindness, generosity, patience, and humility.
We think of gifts we can give him. Would he like more of our time? More of our love? More of our effort? All of the above?
We eagerly watch for his arrival. We turn on the porch light. We wait at the door. We run out to greet him even before he reaches the sidewalk. We fill our souls with expectation for the One who is to come.
May our Advent be a rich time of preparation. The four weekly themes for this year are:
Promises of HOPE – the Prophecy Candle
Places of the HEART (LOVE) – the Bethlehem Candle
Perceivers of JOY– the Shepherd Candle
Presences of PEACE – the Angel Candle
We will have Advent wreath candle-lighting devotions each day, ending the week with some personal reflection questions. It is my prayer that each theme will bless your Advent journey.
Your Friend, Karen 🙂
¹Lyrics are from the Christmas Hymn, “Joy to the World,” by Isaac Watts