This is a time of year that I love . Thanksgiving has come and we’ve focused on gratitude; now we’re moving ahead to Christmas when we’ll focus on Christ’s birth. The season is almost electric, yet I find myself feeling overwhelmed each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s hard to find a happy balance between the family, the shopping, the cleaning, the baking, the work duties, and the extra activities. That’s when I turn back to a line from one of my favorite Christmas carols: “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
I want to look at just a few of the words from that phrase from the song, “Joy to the World.” I don’t even want to look at the whole phrase — just four of the words:
Let every heart prepare…
Before we get too far into the season, and before we begin to feel too overwhelmed, let’s sit quietly at Jesus’ feet and prepare our own hearts. When our hearts are rightly focused on Jesus, we can walk through the Christmas season feeling more content and less frazzled.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters who had very different ways of preparing their home and hearts for Jesus. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to learn from Him. Martha, though, was distracted with all that needed to be done, and she complained to Jesus, thinking that Mary should be helping her. In Luke 10:42 Jesus tells Martha that only one thing is really needed, and that Mary has chosen wisely in spending time at His feet.
But what about Jesus Himself? What did He do when he wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of being needed each day?
He went away — He retreated.
Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Jesus was performing miracles, constantly being needed by someone, or being questioned by the religious leaders because of the miracles He was performing. When He became overwhelmed, He withdrew to spend time talking with the Father.
We can look at a lot of different examples of people who spent time in prayer and focusing on God when they got distressed, but what better example than Jesus?
Friends, I don’t know just what you have coming your way this Christmas season. Can I encourage you to spend a few extra moments with Jesus before everything gets going full speed? Take some time to talk with the Lord and to prepare your heart for what He has for you this season. Lay your plans before Him and ask for His peace through the season.
We have the opportunity to exude peace to everyone we encounter this season — to have a tranquil heart and mind. But we first need to prepare our hearts.
An early merry Christmas, dear friends. May you fully and richly enjoy all that God has for you this season.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room….