I kind of like all the preparations this season of the year brings: planning party menus, shopping for presents, making travel plans, deciding not to send out Christmas cards again this year because we started too late.… You know, all the normal hustle and bustle that go to make the season right.
There have been years when that busyness has gotten in the way of noticing what the season is all about; and there have been years when other kinds of busyness have been the business of the season: moving a family, visiting the hospital, mourning a loved one.
But mostly, the busyness reminds me that there is something special about to happen, something to get ready for, and I want to be prepared.
Advent is a season of getting ready, of getting prepared. John the Baptist turned hearts and lives around to “make ready a people prepared.”
That’s what I want: I want the Spirit to turn my heart and make me ready and prepared. I want my activities and busy schedule to reflect the work the Spirit is doing to prepare me for Jesus. I want to be brought back to God, and ready to receive his Son. You, too?
Luke 1:11-17 (NIV)
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
“He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. “He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Come, Holy Spirit, and make ready
a people prepared for the Lord.
Be present in my everyday tasks.
Incline my heart to follow you even
at the grocery store, the office party,
or the mall. Think in my thoughts;
be active in my emotions;
speak through my words;
be active in my doing
that I may be open to the coming
of my Lord, Jesus Christ,
in whose name I pray. Amen.