I love advent, but every year reveals my mixed emotions about the whole thing. We have enough planning and preparation in life without creating more, right? Plus I’ve got the joy, joy, joy in my heart, but very little money, money, money in the bank. Then there’s the other side of Christmas prep…
I remember the year I wanted to throw advent out the door. You know “that” year. The year you can barely put up a tree. To say you were over it before it even began might be minimizing how you really feel about trying to celebrate the advent season “that” year. This was the year that stole your joy, you felt more than a little lost, left standing in front of your half-heartedly erected tree with only questions and doubts.
I also remember Christmas’s when the joy in my house was bursting like Grandma’s elastic waistband. It was overflowing from every corner and crevice of our family. These are the years you have actual glee. You nearly sprint up the basement stairs trying to get all the decorations in order, welcoming neighbors and friends over to join in the festivities as often as possible.
In all of these mixed emotions and experiences, it’s helpful to take a breath, sit back, and ask what is the point of making ready anyway?
We’re not just making ready, We’re making ready for Him.
And we’re not just making ready for Him.
We’re making ready with Him.
God doesn’t need us to prepare the way of the Lord, but He invites us in to it, because he delights to be with us.
He doesn’t need us to make cookies and have parties and show up for extra church services and work on pageants, but He gives us good gifts and good work for our hands. These things, which are out of the ordinary, out of the every day, focus us in on what matters most – a not so ordinary Savior.
Every day we live is in preparation for time with Him.
In some years, those rotten years, we might make more ready for His final coming, when things are made new and tears will forever cease. Other years, those filled with joy and gladness, we might make more ready for being fully present here, in the now, thankful for the days He has given us on this earth, with our family, with our friends, and with our neighbors who need us, just as much as we need them. We proclaim His presence in celebrating together. We open our Bibles and acknowledge the Center of the Season who invited us along for the journey.
We make ready because He is actually the King of the World and He is worth the time.
We make ready because He is actually coming back for us. He will draw us to Him in a way we can barely begin to understand.
We make ready because He came, not only to teach us, to die for us, and to rise for us, but He also came to be with us.
We make ready our homes, our hearts, and our lives, through His Spirit. Making ready invites Him to come further up and further in.
Here’s my heart, Lord, in joy and sadness, in the messy middle and the mediocre, always, always, Make it Ready for You.
What kind of advent year are you having? Where is the space and time in your life for Him today and what plans do you have for time with Him in the coming season?
Lord, through Your Spirit, tend our hearts. Let us always, always Make Ready for You, and with You. Further up and further in, Lord. Make Ready.