Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room (Even in December!)
At Christians, what does it mean for us to “prepare Him room,” particularly during the Advent season that’s upon us?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve often made the mistake of assuming December would be an easy time to “make room” for Christ in my heart. After all, Christmas is fast approaching, carols about Christ abound, and church attendance is at an all-time high. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas parties, cookie-making, and family gatherings, perhaps I’m not the only one who finds communing with Christ to be ironically difficult to do during Advent…a season that is supposed to be spent “waiting” on Him.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I don’t make the proper effort to prepare my heart to treasure Christ at Christmas. Instead of reflecting on the blessing of His coming, I crowd my heart with lesser things. Whether it’s the fun of stringing lights on the tree, or the stress of packing up my family for a long trip to see relatives, I can find all sorts of things to prepare room for in my heart. Somehow spending time with Christ doesn’t make it to the top of the list.
Birthday Party Fail
In our American culture it seems we focus so much on the details of the birthday party of Christ that we forget about the birthday boy himself. Can you imagine what it would feel like to show up to your own birthday party and have no one notice you? The house has been decorated to the nines, the cake is decadent, presents are wrapped with care, but you arrive and no one says hello or makes eye contact. Everyone around you is immersed in feasting and conversing, but you are forgotten and ignored.
We don’t mean to do this to our awesome Savior. We love him, and we really do aim to celebrate him in our Christmas traditions. But the truth is that we can get side-tracked. Our worldliness robs Christ and ourselves of much joy.
The Joy of Christmas
When Christ was born an angel of the Lord proclaimed: “’I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord’” (Luke 2:10-11).
Our SAVIOR has been born! This is magnificent news that will cause immense joy if we only take the time to fathom it. The joy of Christmas truly is that our LORD has come! Christ made a way for us to be cleansed, forgiven, and reunited with our Father in Heaven. Because Christ came to earth, we are saved from our sins and given new life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is the greatest cause for joy this holiday season.
I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. I’m “preaching to the choir” as it were. But doesn’t it help to be reminded? Let’s “receive our King” and “make room” for Him in our hearts, by setting aside time each day to stand in awe of our Savior’s goodness, and to worship at His feet.
Some Advent Devotional Ideas
What are some resources that could help us to worship Christ during Advent?
- John Piper’s Good News of Great Joy daily devotional for Advent is a very helpful tool for directing our gaze toward Christ during this special season.
- I highly recommend The Gospel Primer by Milton Vincent as a wonderful meditation on the good news of Christ. Read it aloud with family or friends, and enjoy the worship that springs from a grateful heart.
- Timothy Paul Jones offers some other creative tips for observing Advent as a family in his recent blogpost for the Gospel Coalition. Check it out!
Join the Conversation
I’d love to hear how others keep Christ at the center of their hearts during the Christmas season. Would you take the time to share an idea or two?