Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, December 3

Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.
—Matthew 25:6

Advent is the time to get ready.

The last few years I have discovered new meaning in getting ready. For a while, I lived into the Advent police mentality a little too much. Viewing Advent almost like Lent—the season before Easter—I thought that a bah-humbug attitude was most useful in warding off the early revelers who welcomed Christmas far too early. But the practice usually made me less grateful instead of more so, and I began to ask myself what was wrong.

What I discovered was a time of true preparation. Advent became the time to cook, to fill the freezer in anticipation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It became the time to address Christmas cards over several days or even weeks, getting ready to mail them at Christmas, not before in a mad rush.

I learned to turn down party invitations if the time didn't fit with my journey with God, not because people celebrated too early, but because sometimes I wanted to savor the quiet and just be with my family. I cleaned the house, not as if life depended upon it, but with intentionality and purpose—preparing a place for the crèche, the manger, the place only Jesus can fill.

In preparation I found peace. Advent has become a favorite time of year because we let things slow down—the whole family looks forward to it. Sounds amazing doesn't it, but it's possible. I know it. I've done it!

So take time to get ready. There's no rush. Just enjoy the peace.

God, help me to slow down, to prepare my heart for younot in a mad rush, but in peace and intention day by day. Amen.