Let every heart prepare Him room.
The lights were dimmed and the altar was illuminated by the mass of candles placed around it. I listened to that line over and over again- let every heart prepare Him room.
Honestly, I felt like I had been listening to some sort of variation of those words since Advent was remotely near. Hearing the questions, how can we prepare for the coming of Jesus? What do you need to remove in your life to make more room for Him?
And if I’m totally honest I was the one asking those questions at least half the time.
But what does that even mean?
The church was packed for adoration- hundreds of people came to see Jesus, to sing to Him, to somehow make him room. I kept looking up at His body- the tiny host- which somehow seemed to fill the entire sanctuary.
But how could I make space for someone that always seems to overflow in whatever space He’s in?
I’ve been trying to make a list of ways I can prepare for Jesus’ birth- to wait in joyful hope for my Savior. I thought about things like adding different devotions to my day, maybe putting more prayer time into my schedule, but as I sat in front of the Eucharist I thought of a question my friend asked, “If Jesus was coming to your house, how would you get ready for Him?” Immediately, I was thinking of all the cleaning I’d have to do. Honestly, I’d probably be running around last minute shoving random trinkets and garbage into closets, or down into the darkness of the basement.
I imagined vacuuming and dusting, trying to get everything just right, and then hearing Jesus knock at my door, and I’d have to yell out, “One minute!” as I try and put all the dishes from the sink into the dishwasher.
But when I was looking at Jesus I remembered where He was born, where his little body slept after Mary gave birth- the manger.
A trough where animals came to eat the scraps of food no one else wanted.
God became man, and the first place He was welcomed was a small cave and a cattle feeder…
So, why is it that I constantly fear that I need to be the one to pull myself out of the shadows, to have my mess in order before Jesus can enter in? I’m not saying we shouldn’t try and ready ourselves for the birth our Lord, rather that as much as I clean up and try to order my life, there will always be something that I’m dissatisfied with.
I have come to the profound realization that I cannot prepare for Christ without Christ.
What a beautiful paradox.
That the love of God transcends our understanding- so that only through Him can we choose Him.
I’ll be honest, we’re only two Sundays into Advent and it’s been tough. It’s difficult to always be faithful to Jesus, to love with love like His, and to have constant hope.
I struggle daily, but it’s in those very tiny, fleeting moments I recognize how beautiful it is to be weak because Jesus is Lord of all and He loves with a love that goes to the very end, that I find Him filling the spaces I so often try to occupy with other things.
So, as we live in this season of waiting in joyful hope, remember that with the birth of Christ always comes the promise of the cross and resurrection. They can never be separated, never denied to one another. And as we prepare for this gift of the child Jesus, I pray you and I can allow Him to come and be with us. Let Him look at our messes and love us anyway. Let Him open the cabinets and closets to get rid of all the things that take space that is meant for Him. Let Him meet us in the shadows, and remember that even though it can feel like total darkness, a shadow can’t be cast without a source of light.
Thank you, know of my prayers for you. Please, pray for me.