Advent: Preparing for His Coming

Today is the first day of December, but it is also the first Sunday of Advent.  If you are not familiar with advent, it is the time of preparation before Christmas.  There are four Sundays in Advent, and it has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  It is the nesting time before the birth of a baby.  It is cleaning the house before guests come.  Advent is putting the finishing touches on our lives so we are ready for Jesus.

Advent is a Latin word that means “coming.”  Just as Mary and Joseph prepared for baby Jesus, we are to prepare for Jesus entering our lives.  The Bible is full of images of Jesus coming to visit.  No room in the Inn in Bethlehem – they weren’t ready.  Zacchaeus up in a tree and Jesus telling him he was going to his house.  Jesus standing at the door and knocking, asking to come in.  Will we open the door and invite him into our lives?  Or are we so busy getting ready for Christmas that we don’t even hear him knock?

The question becomes for us – are we ready for Jesus?  Advent should be a time when we prepare our lives and our hearts to receive Jesus.  Instead we do so many other things.  We are so busy with our preparations that sometimes we forget what we are preparing for.  Anything that gets in the way of inviting Jesus in should be discarded.  Too many presents?  Limit your gift buying until it represents giving to Jesus.  Writing Christmas cards a chore?  Think of each card as a way to invite Jesus into that person’s life.  Making everyone else miserable with your insistence on decorating a certain way?  What is necessary to symbolize the presence of Jesus?

This isn’t Christmas season (any pastor will tell you that) – it is Advent.  So we prepare to welcome the one sent by God to change the world.

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest,

May our days by Thee be blessed.