Hope: Week One – Day One
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. – Isaiah 40:3 (NRSV)
Maybe you have heard this passage before. It is repeated in the Gospels and used to describe the ministry of John the Baptist. John was a prophet sent ahead of Jesus to prepare the way for Him. He lived in the wilderness near the Jordan River and people came from all around to hear him and be baptized. John called people to repent and get their hearts right because he knew that the Messiah of God was coming soon.
Advent is the season before Christmas in which we are supposed to prepare our hearts for Christ just like John did two thousand years ago. We are invited to take time for reflection and prayer. We are called to cultivate anticipation in our souls through worship and studying the Bible. We are encouraged to sit quietly and remember what Jesus means for our lives.
The thing is, while God is asking us to prepare our hearts for Jesus, the world is asking us to prepare our homes for Christmas. There are gifts to buy, halls to deck, presents to wrap, lights to string, cookies to bake, and carols to sing. There is so much to keep us busy and distracted that we might miss Jesus when He shows up.
So how should we prepare our hearts for Jesus this Advent? Here are a few ideas: participate in some charity work in your community, attend a special Christmas service with your family, or spend some extra time in prayer or reading your Bible alone or with some close friends. And of course, following this devotion series is something that will help too.
Believe me, Christmas morning is so much sweeter when we welcome the day having prepared for Jesus.