Advent - A Time of Preparation

Isaiah 64:1-9 (ESV)

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.

Yesterday was the First Sunday of Advent. A time that we celebrate each year, leading up to Christmas. Having spent many years in Germany, the Advent Season also meant trips to the Christkindlmarkts (Christmas markets – literally Christ Child Market) The Christmas markets were fun, but at the same time, some of them were VERY crowded. It has become quite the tradition in Germany, and there are many trinkets for sale. They also have the traditional Wurst with a roll and you can find many varieties of Gluhwein (hot mulled wine–usually red) for purchase to warm you up.

As we begin to prepare for Christmas, with all the trappings that we use to decorate our houses, let us also prepare our hearts. Let us forgive others–even those who have not asked for forgiveness–that have wronged us. Let us sweep away the cobwebs of indifference to the needs of others. Let us do something nice for someone else.

We should also spend some time in reflection about our sins. The times we have failed to live up to our calling in Jesus. We need to repent of our sins, and remember that even though we have sinned, as today’s scripture points out, God is the potter, we are the clay. We need to allow God to mold and shape our hearts. One of the ways we do this, is meditate on His Word, and ask Him to teach us what He wants us to learn.

So pause today, and make it a habit for this Advent Season to spend a little time, just waiting upon the Lord. Who knows what God will do for, with, and through us as we wait upon the Lord.

by Virgil Stripes

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