‘This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”– Matthew 3.3From Helen Machell:
It is over half way through Advent now and as we are in this time of preparation of our homes and hearts for this season, what does yours look like?
Our house looks well, interesting, and I love it! We have a tree decorated with a heap of red and silver baubles and beads, tinsel covering the plastic feet, a merry Christmas train, a vast amount of stockings hung up the staircase, fairy lights everywhere and 2 foot 8 inch tall Mr and Mrs Santa, gifted from relatives in Canada. Sitting among them are a basic wooden, and a somewhat fancier willow tree, nativity. They sit in a corner of the room watching and waiting for what we are about to celebrate. They are not in your face decorations that you might see, but when you turn you know that here we are awaiting the arrival of the baby Jesus. The arrival was so special when I was growing up that it was always someone’s ‘job’ to place the Jesus in the manger into the nativity scene on Christmas morning.
Our house is, and usually always is, very much prepared on the 1st December and if you walk in you would definitely know that we are celebrating something and I’m hopeful that it would be the birth of Jesus. A place that has been so much easier to forget and leave aside is my heart. Preparing our hearts for Christmas is a much more challenging task yet so much more important. God prepared the way by sending John the Baptist before Jesus, so people would be ready for him.
John was not fancy in his look, he wore camel hair and a leather belt. He ate a basic diet of locusts and honey and he had no home of his own. What he did more than anything was to read and learn from the Bible, focus on God and tell others about God’s kingdom. He was preparing for the coming of Jesus into the world.
What we choose to prepare is a reflection of what is happening in our hearts. Are we using Advent to prepare our hearts more than our houses? If you’re not, why not try and make the switch to be more heart-ready than house-ready this Christmas?