I spent most of the day yesterday in the glorious afterglow of a really good party. The night before my husband and I hosted our annual Christmas gathering and gift exchange for some of my co-workers and their spouses and friends. Good food, laughter, and genuine care for each other makes for a grand time. One of the things we enjoy most about this event is having each guest take a look back at the year and come up with a word that succinctly describes their personal experience. This has proved to be a rich time of acknowledging God’s goodness, faithfulness and mercy in the midst of our human journey.
For me, the preparation intensifies the glory of the event itself. There are several weeks of thought, planning, scheming and a near herculean effort to pull it off, and at the last, when everything is ready, in place, with music thrumming and candles lit, the momentary panic that they might not come. Silly, I know. But hope always wins, and my arms are wide open when the front door opens for the first arrivals.
This year, my word is “perspective.” So much has happened, and there have been real challenges and no small amount of trepidation related to health, circumstances and relationships. Looking back, I can see how God has helped me see all these things in the light of eternity. Perspective has helped me to value what God values in the way that He values it. Some things have eternal weight. Others do not.
Keeping in step with the Spirit of God requires a confidence that there is more to the story than I can possibly know. And it is with the strength of this boldness that I can press on in hope that I will lay hold of that for which I was apprehended. (Philippians 3:12) He laid hold of me for His own purpose, and I can live on purpose within that calling. I think that is what gives value to our preparations. You simply cannot truly prepare without doing it on purpose.
Dear one, as we enter the third week of Advent, let us, on purpose, prepare our hearts to receive Him. Take some time to reflect on the ways that He has made Himself known to you this year. Consider your calling and how eternity penetrates your heart and permeates your life, giving room to Jesus and His love. Let our prayer be as heaven’s declaration: “Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”
Until next week, beloved, make room in your heart to receive your King.