December 1- Preparation

It's the first day of Advent- a time of pondering and reflection. A time to really think about Christ's coming, all that led up to it and to wonder at the mystery of it all. It's a time to stop and think about how his coming altered our life's course. It's a time to hope in the promise of His return. I thought I'd take this month to write up my reflections on this time. It will take discipline. I'm already 2 days behind. But as in all things in my life, better late than never. I process so much in my heart and mind and forget so often to write it down. So I will commit this month to writing.

It's a time of preparation and readying of hearts. Christ came to the world, into a small town of Bethlehem, and they were not ready for Him. That fact occupies my heart today.

Busyness characterizes my life. It's a hard confession to make. I personally don't like the word busy, so I use different words, synonyms like "full", but that mean the same thing. Many things cannot be excluded. Marriage, family, homeschooling, make up this very full season. The added element of ministry can be confusing at times because it seems there is no start or stop, no end to this huge task of "serving others". So I'm wondering what it means to be ready.

When I think of readyness, I think of cleaning my house. Preparing for guests. The coming of Thanksgiving triggers a time to clean house. Clean up the fall mess and pull out the Christmas decorations. I love Christmas. My family knows that. I've barely cleaned up the Thanksgiving dinner and I'm up in the closet pulling out my boxes of Christmas things. But sitting down to prepare my heart is certainly not a default reaction. I pull out the Advent devotional our family has been using for the past 12 years. Our oldest has it memorized. Going through it is easy.

But is my heart ready?

What kinds of things clutter my heart?
What sins remain unconfessed?
Am I nurturing hurts and wounds of past, am I unwilling to forgive?

Christ's coming is as important as his death and resurrection. My sins and the sins of the world led him to his death. I love to think of His coming, but I cannot do that without also thinking about my own sin and need for Him.

Confession. It's a good place to start in Advent preparation.


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