Preparing our hearts

Happy second week of Advent! This second week carries a theme of preparation. As we wait on the prophecy of the Lord’s coming, we prepare our hearts. If the Lord came to earth today, would your heart be ready to receive him? It’s a weighty question, but one that prompts us to truly prepare ourselves spiritually.

Isaiah 40: 3-5 uses the wilderness analogy to present the way of the Lord. The prophets are the voices crying out in the wilderness, and we are to heed those voices and make our paths straight for the Lord. We’re reminded that God makes valleys mountains and mountains valleys. What are some of the mountains in your life, and do you truly believe God can lay them low? Where are the valleys — those low places you hide from the world? Do you trust God to raise them up high and create something good from them?

Reflect on this reading, and consider what you might do to better prepare yourself for the Lord. If he was coming to visit you today, which parts of your life might you clean up a little? Where might you add more faith or hope? What might you eliminate completely? Jot down your answers and think about them this week, making some plans to make changes.

Think of Christmas as not just another square on the calendar, but as the second coming of Christ, and suddenly all those cookies and shopping trips seem a bit hollow. Again, these things in themselves are not bad, but make sure they’re not taking the place of preparing your heart — making straight your path to the Lord.

Remember also that, even though spiritual preparation may cause some feelings of discomfort, you’re doing it all out of joy. You’re looking forward to living in light of the Lord.

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