Heart Preparation
Devotional

Heart Preparation

November 27, 2023

Heart Preparation

“She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:37-38

Every year it seems the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas shortens. We move quickly from falling leaves and pumpkin pie to Christmas activities. Our homes are prepared with decorations, trees, and baking, but how do we prepare our hearts? Advent is a time designated for exactly that.

By definition the word advent means “coming”. It can refer to the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. This definition helps us better understand why the time leading to Christmas is known as Advent in many church traditions. For four weeks, Christians eagerly anticipate the arrival of the most important person, Jesus. So, as we enter into this season in just a few days, let’s pause and reflect on how we can use this time.

In Luke 2:25-36 we are briefly introduced to Simeon and Anna. Although not much is said about them, their example can teach us how to prepare our own hearts for Christmas. Both Simeon and Anna were prophets. They knew the prophecies of a coming Messiah and had waited many years to meet their Savior. Waiting and anticipating for years was likely exhausting and frustrating. But Simeon and Anna didn’t seem to see it that way. Instead they spent their years of waiting, growing closer to God.

Luke describes them as righteous, devout and filled with the Holy Spirit. Instead of questioning God’s promise or complaining about his timing, they actively worshiped. Their years of worship, prayer and fasting prepared their hearts to fully accept Christ as their Savior. When Simeon finally met Jesus he recognized the magnitude of the moment and declared in Luke 2:29-30 “you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For I have seen your salvation”.

The time Simeon and Anna spent waiting was used to prepare their hearts for the arrival of Christ. Our time in December is meant to do the same thing. We aren’t meant to rush through the month from one party to another. But rather, embrace the time. Cherish the rare moments of quiet as chances to thank God, reflect on his son, and like Simeon and Anna, use the time to worship and pray.

This can be hard to do. When our schedules are packed full or when the season holds more pain than joy, the last thing on our minds is preparing our hearts. However, that is exactly what God invites us into. When we pause in the busyness and invite the Holy Spirit to move, God will work to prepare our hearts. He will move in unimaginable ways to bring peace and joy even in the chaos and darkness.

Over the next few weeks I invite you to spend time preparing your heart for Christmas. Perhaps use the devotionals as a chance to pause and reflect on how the birth of Jesus has impacted you. As we walk through Advent, I pray that God will give you a renewed expectation of his work in your life and prepare you to worshipfully celebrate Christmas.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, We thank you for Simeon and Anna and their devotion to you. As we enter Advent, help us to learn from their example. May we spend the next few weeks not just waiting but preparing our own hearts to celebrate Christ’s birth. In the midst of our busy schedules, we pray for your Holy Spirit to move us to worship. Draw us closer to you and form our hearts, so that we may fully embrace what Christmas is all about. It is in your son’s name that we pray, Amen.

Makalah Scholten
Spiritual Care Coordinator

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