“Advent. The coming of quiet joy. Arrival of radiant light in our darkness.”
The days and weeks prior to the arrival of our kids’ Christmas visit are ones of preparation. We’ve decorated the house, put up the Christmas tree, baked and cooked ahead and stocked the refrigerator with their favorite foods. By the time they arrive, the shopping and wrapping will be done, the house cleaned and the handmade gifts hopefully completed. All this with great anticipation of being with our favorite people for a few days.
Do we go through all these preparations because we’re looking forward to the presents our kids will give us? No; their presence is our gift. We can’t wait to be with them. We prepare for their arrival because we love and value them. We enjoy opening up their gifts, but it’s their presence and the gift of their friendship that we love the most. We prepare because we love.
Just as we get excited about the arrival of our family this season, so too does God desire us to have great anticipation for the coming of His Son Jesus. He wants us to expect His daily arrival in our lives. Who God was, His character and nature in the Christmas story is who He wants to be in your life.
Advent is a time of preparing for Jesus’ first coming at Christmas as well as for His second coming. Just as we long for our children’s arrival, so too do we long for Christ’s return. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
As we look forward to Christmas just a few days away and count down to the birth of baby Jesus, what can you do to prepare your heart for His arrival? How can you demonstrate your love and value for the Christ child? Maybe it’s sitting still in His presence a few minutes each day or possibly cleaning the house of your heart through repentance and forgiveness. What if you daily meditated on His promises and gave Him thanks? Spending time reading the Christmas story, and moments in prayer and adoration of Him are ways to prepare for His arrival. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do show your love and value for the Christ child by making your heart ready for His advent.
“The best way to prepare for the coming of Christ is never to forget the presence of Christ.”
How can you prepare your heart for the arrival of baby Jesus?