Gracefully Truthful

Adoring,Birth,Busy,Enough,God,Grace,Jesus,Life,Meaning,Purpose,Space,Time,Welcome,Worship

Read His Words Before Ours!

Isaiah 9:6-7
Matthew 1:18-24
Isaiah 40:3-5
Matthew 3:3
Luke 2:15-20
Ephesians 2:12-14

Every year on August 25th, my mom would have a revelation and make a declaration,
“Oh my goodness, Christmas will be here before we all know it!”
Now, more than 40 years later, I recall these words with much more understanding. Preparing for Christmas has become so entailed that we start running out of time before we even begin.

Though my heart desires to worship Christ most of all,
if I am not intentional to have my heart tuned to the reality of His coming,
I risk being unprepared to receive His presence
.

A few weeks ago, we had some dear Australian friends visit with us whom we hadn’t seen in 19 years. As their arrival neared, I was anxious to create a welcoming space for them. The most important thing was certainly the time we spent together once they arrived, but it was vital to me that they sensed our excitement about their coming. There was a space that had been made ready just for them.
The preparation indicated a longing for their presence.

During this season, I desire to long for Jesus.
A song was introduced to us last Christmas at church and its lyrics stir my heart to worship. “Oh, our hearts, as busy as Bethlehem.
Hear Him knock, don’t say ‘there’s no room in the inn.’
Through the cradle, cross, and grave, see the love of God displayed.
Now He’s risen and He reigns.
Praise the Name above all names!
Prepare Him room. Prepare Him room. Let the King of glory enter in.”

Prepare Him room.
For believers, opening our hearts to Jesus
should be as natural as opening our homes to those we love.

As we excitedly prepare for the arrival of far-away family, my husband and I rearrange spaces just for them and the “duty” of housework becomes a delight. Yet, with all the excitement of this special season, we’re tempted to succumb to celebrating everything BUT Jesus. Even though I look for a central place in our home for the Christ–child in the manger, the little Baby can become just another symbol among the others. Celebrating Christmas involves many different aspects, but we must celebrate it all to the glory of God,
with hearts bent toward Him and filled with thankfulness. (Colossians 3:1-17)

Just as we prepare for family, we see in Scripture that God was always preparing for us. If we could see into Bethlehem the night He appeared, we might think there hadn’t been any preparation for His entrance.
The worshippers were few and far between.
There were no crowds hovering around the manger. (Micah 5:2)
But on that night, God took on flesh.
In the form of a helpless newborn with unfocused eyes, flailing limbs, and hungry cries,
the One who created everything and everyone became a needy baby boy.

From the outside, it was just another Bethlehem eve, but there had been a divine preparation. For Mary, and for those of us who have been forever changed by His birth, life, death, and resurrection, we long to fully grasp the significance of His first appearing.
We determine to pause and ponder it all.
We choose to quiet the clutter so that the magnificence of His nearness evident. (Luke 2:19)
We prepare the way for Him to invade space in our hearts.
Come, let us adore Him.

As we prepare our hearts to make Him room this year, may we look for ways to welcome the reality of His incarnation into our everyday with anticipation and delight.
Wonder at His presence.

As we enjoy the season by sharing gifts, serving at local rescue missions, sending greeting cards, or by baking goodies for those we love …
May we worship and adore the Baby who came to free us from the burden of meaningless clutter and empty busyness.

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