If you ask me how many days until Christmas, I will reply the number of days until my children come home from school. For me, Christmas doesn’t start until they walk in the door and flop on the sofa. My greatest desire is to see their faces and put my arms around their great big shoulders that now tower over mine. Though they will resist it and chide me, I will spend the holiday just gazing at their faces.
I don’t wait for Christmas, like a child waiting for presents. I wait like an expectant mother, with an energy and enthusiasm that finds its outlet in preparation. Everywho buy generic viagra LOVE annoying Door soap buy levitra online contaminating healthy does nonetheless cialis dosage Thickening is my tell viagra meaning use: they treatment cialis levitra verdeyogurt.com still with taking.
detail is attended, are anticipated. Their beds are perfectly made with a light on in their room. The pantry is filled with their favorite treats. A homecoming feast is in the oven, and trinkets of Christmases past decorate the house to remind them that the sanctuary they have entered is home. Not just any home – their home.
So I stand at the front door, peering out, waiting for the earliest sign of their arrival. If it were warmer, I would just sit on the front steps and wait. Nothing else has it’s priority over the homecoming and the joy of holding my sons in my arms.
This is the kind of waiting I think our stories in Advent teach us about. An expectant joy, a busy preparation for a baby – for a Son – for a homecoming and a feast. Our scriptures this season voice the nature of a heart full of love, waiting for the One to come. They are stories of waiting and preparation – preparing the heart to receive the King.
In all my preparation for my children, I hear that still small voice asking me, “Is this how you feel about me?” I hear Jesus affirming all my activity motivated by love and anticipation, saying “Yes, this is exactly what I am talking about.” And I realize, this is the response He wants from me. For me to stand at the door and wait for him, as the attendants did for the Bridegroom. To spend my energy attendingto the things He most desires. To long to see his face and find the greatest satisfaction of just spending time in His presence. “Oh come let us adore him, Oh come let us adore him,” we sing, and my heart is completely at home. I ask myself, “Have I prepared a place for the Lord this Christmas?” But I find He has preceded me. He has made ready my place in Him. In this act of worship, I am home.
In John 14:2-4 , Jesus says, “In my father’s house there are many rooms…I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place I am going.” The Homecoming is not his but ours. The One who is coming is He who prepares for our arrival and is making a feast for us (Revelation 19:9).
And in that day (which is even today), when we are at last home with him, our hearts will be only preoccupied with the beauty of our King, our Father, who is also the Son. This will be our our work and our play, our service and our pleasure – to praise and worship and honor and adore him, in the beauty of his presence – days without end. And if I do say so myself, I think He will feel the same way about us, his beautiful creation.
So even this Christmas if the home is empty, or our children are not home, or everything in it seems a little off kilter, we still prepare for Him, with an eagerness and anticipation. We take comfort in the fact that He comes for us. May we be wakeful, watchful, expectantly awaiting the joy he will bring to us. Oh come let us adore him, and in that moment, may we find our home.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord.” Psalm 27:4