Advent 2015 // Preparing our Hearts

Matthew 3:1-12 Matthew 4: 17

So yesterday may have left you with a little questioning of how else we can prepare for the birth of our Lord, and how we can fully ‘prepare’ during Advent. Week two is about preparation, but I think the major part of Advent is ensuring that we prepare our hearts for the birth of our Lord so that we can fully welcome Him into our homes and our hearts.

How are we supposed to fully prepare for the birth of our Lord if we aren’t willing to give ourselves fully to him, if we aren’t willing to open ourselves up fully and wait in hope for the Lord. How are we supposed to prepare for him to come, if we are only willing to give 50%?

If we aren’t willing to welcome in the Lord to our heart, then how can we open up our homes and welcome Him into our relationships, friendships or our lives? We can’t- so our preparing would be all for none then. Advent is the beginning of the Church’s liturgical year, we aren’t just preparing for the birth of Christ, but it is preparation for the whole year.

As we look to the Gospel of Matthew, we hear John the Baptist call us to repentance and preparation. He is calling us to be prepared and aware as we invite Christ into our hearts, but not only as we wait for His birth, but as we await the final judgement as well.

Repentance- not a word we often see during Advent. It is not a repentant season like Lent is. This season is a preparation and waiting in hope season. But in order to prepare for something, we often need to repent in order to have a clean slate.  

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” Matthew 4: 17

How can we be ready and prepared when we haven’t cleaned ourselves up? Think about it, when you are preparing for a party in your home, you don’t just start preparing all of the food before cleaning the house, do you? usually, we clean up and put everything away before we start preparing the food. But it is all part of preparation.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”-Isaiah 30:15

  1. What are some things that you can do to ‘clean yourself up’ for Christmas?

  2. How are you fully giving yourself to the Lord this Advent season in prep for his coming? Are you willing to change something to give more of yourself?

This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts. 

To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link.