That’s what I’m going for – total transformation. But without a magic wand, I am finding this whole transforming thing to be a process rather than a flipping of a switch or a waving of said wand. A “process” takes time. Total transformation takes time. The total transformation I desire is taking longer than I would like. After all, it’s Advent and I am preparing to remember and to celebrate the arrival of the Christ Child here on earth some two thousand years ago. We celebrate this event every year so that we don’t forget God’s greatest gift to us, His only Son, Jesus. I never want to forget that God kept His promise and made a way for me, a sinful person, to be reconciled to Him, a Holy God.
Infinite is the chasm between sin and holiness. Infinite is God’s love for me and for you – a love so enduring, so merciful, so strong that it spans the chasm and allows me to walk across into newness of life, reconciled to my Heavenly Father forever. God’s infinite love took on human form in the person of Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. God entered into our world and lived with us for awhile, that’s the miracle I celebrate every Christmas – that He came!
So during these dreary days of December, I am attempting to decorate my house for the holiday. This is part of my Advent preparation. I clear away my accumulated clutter, making room for Christmas decorations, all the while wondering how and when so many extraneous things filled up the spaces and took over. It is time again to consciously make room to receive my Savior and my King. I don’t want lesser things to crowd Him out of my life. And so I use this Advent time to prepare to celebrate Jesus’s birth all over again.
Every decoration I unpack is a memory, starting with the Zambian Nativity Scene I set out in a space usually occupied by family pictures. I think about my time in Zambia and the people there as I arrange the figures of this special Nativity, while picturing people all over the world celebrating Jesus’s birth in one accord. Advent ushers in a time of unity and peace among believers all over the world. In many languages, in many nations, with all sorts of customs and traditions unique to them, people all over the world are preparing to once again remember and to once again celebrate the arrival of Immanuel, God with us. Such a thing had never happened before, nor will it happen again in this way.
As I prepare the way in my own life for the Christ Child to take His rightful place, I take comfort and joy in knowing others are on this Advent journey with me, remembering with wonder the miracle that took place some two thousand twenty years ago. My Advent journey continues, but the transformation is slow. I will need to do more than a decoration a day if I am to be ready in time! After all, I am preparing a way for the Lord.
“A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the Lord, make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ ” (Isaiah 40:4-5)
His glory will totally transform you and me and all who receive Him,
sincerely, Grace Day