Prepare Your Hearts

Advent by Christopher Bulle, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

Just the other day, I confessed to my RedState colleagues that I’ve been battling a wicked case of “writer’s block” of late. We all go through it from time-to-time. Typically, what I encounter is — I’ll have a momentary flash of inspiration but then talk myself out of following through because I know I have other things to attend to and I worry I just won’t have the time to devote to creating something worthwhile, meaningful to share. That’s my insecurity talking, of course. And my stressed-out, overloaded brain.

Do you know when I don’t run into that? When I feel that flash of inspiration and just go with it without overthinking it. When I stop worrying about who will read what I write or, even more to the point, appreciate it. I need to get over that (and myself). “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear….” (Or, read/share, as it were.) So, dear readers, here goes:

We’re in the Season of Advent. We’re in the homestretch of 2020, rounding the bend with Christmas in sight. Normally, that brings with it an added air of excitement. Even with the stress of the hustle-bustle, there’s the knowledge that we are in the middle of a very special time of the year. Whatever your personal expectations of Christmas are, there’s an energy and light to this season that speaks to those of us who believe. For we know, when you peel away the wrapping paper, the lit-up trees and houses, the stockings hung with care, the parties and pageants, the jingle jangle of Christmas music and the nostalgia of stop-motion animated specials, at the heart of it all is the story of our Lord and Savior. Of His entry into this world, into our lives and hearts — of the most precious gift of all.

This year feels different. How could it not? We’re awash in the pandemic, election, tales of treachery, a cold civil war. We’re drowning in bad news. So much so that remembering to focus on the GOOD NEWS of His pending arrival truly is a challenge.

Today’s message from my church had to do with “the wilderness” — that brutal, lonely, barren place that has seen so much struggle. It seems we are, at present, in the most wildernessy of wildernesses.

And yet…there is this:

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
–Isaiah 40:3-4

In this season most bleak and weary, remember that God draws near; that we are not truly alone; that the darkness is not mightier than the Light of the World.

Remember His name — Emmanuel — God with us.

Let every heart prepare Him room. And Heaven and nature sing.