We have now entered the Advent season. Across the U. S. as well as the Christian world, people spend time getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Why do we go through this time of advance work?
Church choirs work to make themselves ready to sing Christmas cantatas. Children’s ministries departments prepare a children’s play to present to their churches. Churches decorate for the season. Some plan a special service-Hanging of the Greens- in order to accomplish the task. Other churches have committees that work to make their churches beautiful for the season of Christ’s birth.
We usually decorate our homes to prepare for the celebration. I used to work in a faith-based nonprofit ministry that held a ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus’ party. We made advance plans for the gifts and decided what kind of meal to have for the guests of honor. We also had to go into the venue and decorate the tables and set up.
But, do we take the time to prepare our hearts for Jesus? I once heard a dear Christian lady tell a group of us that we should prepare our spirits and our hearts before we go to worship God. What can we do in order to do this before we enter corporate worship? We can pray, read our Bibles. And read from a devotional book or magazine.
When we go to the store, we make a grocery list. When we start to shop for Christmas presents for our family, we have either a written list or a mental list of what we seek to purchase.When we pack a suitcase for a trip, we prepare our list of what we need while we are away. When we have company, we clean our houses.
People of the Jewish faith prepare to celebrate Passover by ridding their homes of any leavening or yeast. Jewish children study the standards of their faith in preparation for their bar/bas mitzvahs.
Before a baby is born, the future parents and grandparents plan and prepare for the child’s arrival.As I reflect on my childhood, my mother had me lay out my clothes for the next day if that next day was a school day.
As we prepare for worship, we can pray for our pastors and their families. We can ask God to send His Holy Spirit into our services, to go up and down each pew and touch hearts and heal hurts .I wonder; have we as a people prepared our hearts and souls for worship. Have we forsaken the things in our lives that displease God as we await the return of His son? As I initially type these words, we are in early December. I think of the Christmas carol, Joy to the World. The one line in the first verse stands out to me, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Do we have to get our souls cleaned out of hate, laziness, and disrespect for our neighbors or for those who have a different outlook on life?
Dear Lord God: Please help us to prepare our hearts and souls for You. Allow us to draw as close to You as we can. We will give You the praise. In the name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN
'God's Words For US' Copyright 2013 © Cecelia Lester. 'God's Words For US' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to http://www.liveasif.org/ 2) 'God's Words For US' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.
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