I suppose this word sums up what we do during Advent.
We wait for Christmas, the birth of our savior.
And we prepare. Get everything ready.
Clean the house.
Plan the Christmas Eve meal.
Buy presents and wrap them.
Write Christmas cards.
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.”
The bible calls us to prepare. The Lord himself told the Israelites to prepare.
Make way for the Lord.
Prepare yourselves and everything around you because I’m coming.
So how does preparation look like back then and today?
Are we really prepared when Christmas comes or are we simply exhausted from preparing?
It is quite a big job to do to prepare for the Lord’s coming.
After years of struggle and exile and ‘punishment’ from the Lord he wants to return.
To be with them again. How do you get ready for that?
The bible speaks of making a road in the wilderness and making the hills flat.
Wow, that’s not easy.
Getting ourselves ready for Christmas can be hard, too.
To get your heart in the right place.
To establish a welcoming atmosphere and nurture an expectant spirit in the midst of Christmas turbulences – that’s really difficult.
But it starts with little things.
Taking steps towards a bigger thing.
Making a road in the wilderness, as long and dry as it may be.
Working on one hill at a time.
Practical preparation can help us with the spiritual preparation.
For me, Advent begins when we light the first candle at home and when we start baking Christmas cookies.
It might be in the middle of the week, in the midst of work and other challenges.
But the moment you put on that Christmas cassette (yes, cassette!) and roll out the dough – this is when Advent begins.
It is my first step towards Christmas.
It would be a shame not to share some of these sweet cookie outcomes…soon.
But before that I would like to hear from you: When does Advent start for you?
How do you prepare for Christmas?