Prepare your hearts and lives to receive the Light of the World.
This pre-Christmas time- Advent is a time of preparation. When we hear the word, "preparation." Our thoughts immediately go to Christmas cards, presents, house decorating, baking and planning our Christmas events and gatherings. Even "church" preparations can keep us from the preparation that John the Baptist called people to: "repent," turn from your sin, "make the path straight for the coming of the Lord." These traditional preparatory activities keep us from doing the preparation that is more important, more life-giving and life-sustaining; more healing and renewing. When John the Baptist was calling people to prepare the way of the Lord, I doubt if he was talking about Christmas trees, buying presents, baking cookies and decorating our houses and churches. Prepare your heart! Make room in your life for Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. How can we do this? Turn away from self-centeredness. Turn away from anger, resentment, and bitterness. Pray, "Lord help me!" Make the path straight for the Lord to enter into your heart. Invite him in, "Come into my life, Lord Jesus." Spend time with him in the word, the Scriptures. Read the Gospel of Mark. Sacrifice 10 minutes of your time to sit in expectant quiet, waiting and listening. Pray the Jesus prayer: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
I hope this year, this Advent, you will prepare your heart and your life to receive the Savior of the world. I pray that in receiving him, you will find hope beyond hope, peace that passes all understanding, comfort that heals the broken heart, joy despite your present circumstances.