How do you prepare for advent? John the Baptist gave this advice: Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near (Matthew 3:2). Repent is a word with little appeal to our human nature. We don’t really know quite what God wants us to do. Does He want us to walk around in sackcloth and ashes? Should we sit around thinking about how much we sin until we cry? I think God is after a change of heart and Advent can help us get there.
What God wants most from us is that we change our mindset from the cares of thisearth, to the wonder of His Kingdom. Advent heralds a change. It ushers in arenewed interested in God’s Kingdom on earth. At Advent, there is oftena change in seasons; we even had a little snow and ice in Dallas to escort inAdvent this year. I had to change my closet and dig out my winter coat from thevery back. The season of Advent invites us to change our focus from the everydayto the time when our Savior first came to us wrapped in cloths and lying in amanger.
That advent two thousand years ago marks the preparation for the Kingdom of Heavento arrive on earth. Our King was preparing to be born and finish His work ofredeeming mankind by His sacrificial death. He now reigns in heaven until thetime is just right for Him to return to earth and claim all citizens of heavento reign and rule with Him.
It’s not easy to remain focused on the Kingdom of Heaven. It seems muchless complicated to think about the bills to pay, the shopping and baking todo, the carpool to drive. All of these earthly concerns are in our face everyday. It is a season such as Advent that causes us to stop and ponder the questions, Whydid Jesus come as a baby? What was God up to?
There was a change in the world that occurred that wonderful day when Christwas born. God’s redemption timeclock was moving forward just as He hadpromised the prophets long ago. Advent reminds us that God did fulfill His promisesand that He will continue to fulfill His promise of the earthly reign of JesusChrist after His second coming to earth.
Advent asks me to open my heart to eternal destinies and heavenly promises. Itcalls me from the mundane work of living day to day to reconsider the Kingdomof Heaven and cry out to God to bring it to earth quickly. It encourages me byseeing that even after long centuries of waiting, God did fulfill His promisedjust like He said. It reminds me that there are still promises to be fulfilled.
In the meantime, I prepare by repenting; repenting of my puny view of my lifeand what I am here to do, repenting of being caught up in a worldly mindset thattells me a dream Christmas will satisfy my soul, repenting of spending too littletime reflecting and meditating on the true meaning of Christmas.
Spend some time this Advent season becoming mesmerized by the promises of Godand the Heavenly Kingdom He has established on earth of which you are a citizen.