What are you preparing for in this season? Have you pulled out the Christmas decorations and “decked the halls” to prepare your home for the holidays? Have you gathered up recipe cards and organized grocery lists to prepare for a baking extravaganza? Did you snag any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals to prepare for giving gifts to those you love? Are you making alternate plans to prepare for the unexpected changes the pandemic brings? There is so much to do. So many preparations to be made.
But what about your heart? It’s easy for us to get carried away and neglect our emotional and spiritual well-being in the process of preparing everything else that the holidays bring.
We find ourselves in the midst of Advent — a season within the life of the Church that is often ignored in favor of “getting to the good part” of Christmas. It’s a time when we prepare our hearts for Christ to come to us again.
The prophet Isaiah instructed God’s people to, “Prepare the way of the Lord,” and this call was echoed by John the Baptist in the gospels. They encouraged the crowds to look within their own hearts as well as out into the community to take notice of what doesn’t align with God’s kingdom’s values. These things need to be named before God, and then we ask for forgiveness and wisdom in how to turn things around. We’re invited to reflect on how we can boldly participate in making things on earth as they are in heaven.
Now is the time to be intentional before the season gets away from us. What will you do to prepare your heart for the gift of Christmas?