The Advent season begins on Sunday, so I will share a line from my favorite Advent hymn with you. The song is called “People, Look East” and it reminds us that Jesus comes in the form of a star, and as love, and as a child. One verse says:
“Make your house fair as you are able: sweep the hearth and set the table.
People, look East and sing today. Love, the guest, is on His way.”
When I was young, that song certainly represented the flurry of December activities on our home. We swept out the big stone fireplace to set up a Nativity scene. My mom polished the silver and copper serving platters to use for the Christmas dinner feast. There was a tree to decorate, lights to hang, wreaths to make, and candles to place in every window.
Each year, the house looked amazing… but it was a lot of work.
With the development of the Internet and sites like Pinterest and Instagram, we are all flooded with images of what a holiday table should look like. Do we have the right centerpiece? Fancy plates? Properly folded napkins? Are our recipes photo-worthy and ready to grace the cover of a magazine?
It’s easy to get caught up in the commercial preparations for Christmas. There is always more we can do. But what if God doesn’t care about our decorations and table settings? The purpose of Advent is to prepare our hearts.
What if we put as much effort into cleaning our hearts as we do into cleaning our home? We would be lining up to go to Reconciliation or Bible Studies! Instead of spending hours scrolling through pictures of decorations, we would spend time each day in prayer or serving others. This Advent, be intentional about your time and the way you prepare yourself for Christmas. Of course it is fine to decorate and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season! Just don’t let all the lights and shiny tinsel distract you from the true reason for the season.
What will you do differently to prepare your heart for Jesus this Advent season?
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Lizann is a Catholic military wife and mother who loves to share about her faith. Read more from Lizann and our other contributors on the Christian Catholic Shop blog.