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It's Five Minute Friday! A weekly flashmob of bloggers internet-wide gathering to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more posts, more info, and/or to join in, head here!

In the weeks (or months, or days, depending on your personality) leading up to Christmas, a whole lot of preparing goes on. Listing and planning, shopping and wrapping, cooking and baking, inviting and being invited... all for the sake of a single day. A day which, by the time we finally reach it, we just want to get it over with so we can stop trying to keep people out of the closet where the gifts are hidden, get rid of the tree that's been shedding needles all over the carpet, and finally turn on the radio and hear normal music.

A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." [Isaiah 40:3] That's a verse I've heard many times, especially around Christmas. I never really thought about it much, and when I did, it sort of puzzled me. Why does the way of the Lord need to be prepared? I mean, He can descend from the clouds in a chariot of fire, so why on earth would we need to level mountains in order to make a road for Him?

Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" [Matthew 21:8-9] But this year, working through an Advent week devoted to preparation and waiting, it finally clicked: it's not for His sake, it's for ours. We are the faithless and forgetful, caught up in our own little kingdoms, and the continual actions of preparation while we wait are what make our hearts ready to receive Him.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas (or the first 24 days of December, again, depending on your personality) is a gift - an opportunity to clean out our hearts while we're cleaning our homes, and to prepare to receive anew the most important Guest of all.

How can you make time to prepare, not just physically, but spiritually, in such a way that Christmas has a positive impact on your life beyond the 25th of December?


blestbutstrest said…
The older I get the more I realize that it's not about the gifting (both receiving and giving), it's about the being. Being there for people during vacations...playing endless rounds of Rook or Spite and Malice because to do so is a gift to the one who loves to play. To eschew perfection and embrace people.
Tara Ulrich said…
Visiting from FMF! I used that verse in my post tonight too.
Asheritah said…
Faithless and forgetful. So true! That's why I need a Savior. And that's why He calls us to prepare, to learn to BE with Him.
Bethany Boring said…
I feel so silly that I didn't even THINK of this passage for my post! Ha! You were right on too. We are doing the Jesse Tree as a family and it has been PERFECT getting our entire clan ready for Christmas this year!
Summer Floyd said…
great thoughts. i'm sort of done with all of this Christmas preparation. i'd like to minimize it so that the beauty of it maximizes in my life and in my families.
Shana said…
Visiting from FMF! Your post is very similar in direction to where the Lord led me. Such good truth! God make our hearts more ready for You!

Nice to meet you!
Traci Rhoades said…
The best way I have found to get the most impact from Advent is to be still. I know, profound, right? But really, so much of Christmas require preparation. Baking cookies, wrapping presents, attending parties, watching Christmas shows, listening to Christmas music. My best reflection comes when I put it all aside and am - still. Joining you from #FiveMinuteFriday!
Karrilee Aggett said…
Yes - this: " it finally clicked: it's not for His sake, it's for ours. We are the faithless and forgetful, caught up in our own little kingdoms, and the continual actions of preparation while we wait are what make our hearts ready to receive Him."

Amen, my friend... let us prepare Him room!
Sandra Aguilar said…
I want this Christmas could be different, not center in gifts and presents instead of it could have a spiritual experience and let my heart fill with the Spirit of The Lord like you say in your post. Thank you for share it

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