We prepare for who is coming.
Many of you, I think, experience this: You set a date for a gathering. You envision friends or family at the table, their smiles. You picture soft lights and imagine breathing in delicious smells— so you make sure your star lights have batteries, make a grocery list, and pick a cookie recipe. You prepare for what you set your mind on.
We prepare for who is coming. And, in the process of preparation there is something of the celebration itself— a foretaste. When I’m excited for an event, I have deep joy and delight in my preparation. I want to invite comfort and joy, I want the people at my table to be filled with love…and maybe experience a taste of Love Himself.
I visualize the goodness and try to prepare so it just might become a reality.
But, I seriously fall short of goodness when I only prepare materially and mentally.
Let’s be realistic…as I prepare, I also taste spiritual germs on my breath and others’ threatening to spread our soul-sicknesses, fractures in hearts, death cycles, my social anxiety creeping up my neck and squeezing. We can experience a foretaste of anxiety rather than celebration. A foretaste of the broken can steal our preparation for goodness.
So, when I am wise (by the grace of God), I prepare my heart—I beg for my broken heart to be prepared and repaired. I pray for God to shift my focus from the wounds to the Warrior-Healer-Carpenter. For my roof to be patched, my windows to be sealed tight, and my door to be unlocked— for my home and my presence to be a haven from the cold.
I want these precious people I envision sitting at my table to experience a little bit of Emmanuel. And, as my great-grandmother Vivian would say, a little taste of heaven.
We prepare for who is coming because we love them.
Yet, we also are filled with God’s love in the process of preparation— as we ask God to help us prepare out of love for Him, He lavishes us with more love to give. As we confess our brokenness and invite Him to repair our hearts we have peace with Him.
YES, isn’t this one of the greatest treasures? When we prepare for Christ’s coming at our Christmas party or His guaranteed Second Advent, we experience ever-increasing peace with Him because we experience more and more of Him.
Isn’t that what we really, deeply want as we hang lights and make menus and vacuum under the chair?
Peace with God.
We have peace with God through Jesus— the Holy Spirit is with us through Jesus. God has come, God is here.
BUT, never forget, God is coming.
He is coming to work in your broken heart, at your invitation. He is bringing joy as you sweep. He is washing feet and pouring grace at your Christmas party.
And that is not all!
He is coming on the clouds as King! He is coming to establish a new, unimaginably radiant Earth!
He is coming to be with us in a way we have yet to experience— a way only He can prepare us for.
He fills us and moves in us to prepare for more of HIM. For the true life He intended. And, guess what? In this process of preparation, there is a sweet, sweet foretaste of His peace and His glory because He Himself is our peace and He is inexpressibly glorious.
How do you prepare room for God to work in you?
What time will you set aside this week to re-focus and re-center on Christ as your motivation?
I invite you to open up a gift I prepared for you! Click here for simple daily scripture readings I put together on preparation: Advent Week 2 Scripture Readings
If you would enjoy hearing this content read, click here to listen: https://m.soundcloud.com/doni-owens/christs-advent-at-your-christmas-party-and-the-last-day-of-your-achy-body
Love and peace,