We are ending the liturgical year on Sunday and approaching a new year on 1st Advent. Naturally we are looking ahead and seeing if we are ready. The anamoly is that Advent starts that year which is itself a time of preparation. So this Sunday we are preparing to prepare!
The key in all of this is to begin Advent with a different or changed mindset and a resolve for doing. Here are a few steps from BeliefNet and from our Advent study “Singing Mary’s Song”
1. Have a proper mindset – Be ready to stop in your busy tracks and embrace the season of Advent and, most importantly, its purpose. The Advent message is “deliverance from oppression and bondage, to those who have much and those who have nothing..” The message of Advent is that, whatever our circumstance in life, Jesus Christ was bornto be with us wherever we are. We have to be ready mentally to hear it.
2. Prepare a room at the Inn. Your heart is where Christ wishes to dwell and Advent is the perfect time to make room in it for His presence. If your heart is filled with unforgiveness, it has no room for Christ.
“We need to uncover that place this Advent where we can be silent, reflective, and prayerful. During this time of waiting, our eyes, ears, and minds can adjust to the radiant presence of God’s love for us in Jesus Chris.t”
3. Clean out the Cobwebs. You ask God to reveal any unforgiveness that you are holding, it is important to clean out the vestiges of cobwebs that may still be lurking in the dark corners of your heart. The Advent message may be blocked or obscured by these.
The first readings of Advent are about repentence
This prophecy points to John the Baptist, who says to the crowds: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Luke 3:7-8) Then John tells the people what the Messiah is coming to do: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
4. Expect the unexpected or the obscured
“For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37)
“The unfolding drama of Jesus’ life brims with impossibilities—a virgin con¬ceives, and God enters human history; a woman well beyond childbearing years delivers a healthy child; a man returns to life from a tomb; the Holy Spirit empowers a small, frightened group of men and women huddled in an upper room in Jerusalem to develop into a worldwide movement that for twenty-one centuries has “been turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).”
5. Hang new curtains /get out the China
How are we to prepare for the coming of the Messiah? This is precisely the question the people ask John in the Gospel of Luke: “What should we do?”
Look closely at John’s answer: “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” (Luke 3:11) Then the businessmen and bankers of John’s day come forward, and they, too, ask, “What should we do?” John answers, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” (Luke 3:12-13) The military powers come forward and they, too, ask, “And we, what are we to do?” John replies, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats and false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.” (Luke 3:14)