It seems as though all we do this time of year is prepare.
For me, I have to prepare everything ahead of the rest of the world, it seems. My family lives several states away, so that means shopping early and preparing the gifts to ship in time for when Christmas actually starts.
I usually take off time to go see them, so that means preparing weeks in advance for all the volunteers and teachers at the church, making sure they have everything they need for when I’m gone.
I prepare my house, trying to make it all feel festive by putting up a tree and pulling out all my favorite decorations.
This year, my heart is heavy. Well, it’s pretty much been heavy all year I guess. But this Christmas is particularly painful. Which I guess is fitting for Advent, right?
[Did you know that if you google the word “advent" right now, the headline “Kris Jenner, 59, Flashes Her Ample Cleavage, Shakes It With a Candy Cane for Love's Latest Advent Calendar Video” comes up as fourth? Keep it classy, Kardashians.]
Most who know about Advent understand that it is about waiting and preparing. And most people in the world don’t even “celebrate” it anyway. This time of Advent is seen as Christmas... and it comes as soon as Thanksgiving is over for the diehards who hold out. Others start celebrating in August when the stores first put out their Christmas decorations. But they celebrate Christmas. Not Advent.
The duality of Advent hurts my heart.
The waiting to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, who came to rescue me. [Joy]
The waiting for him to return and makes all things right. [Hope]
Joy in salvation.
Hope in what seems like will never come.
My heart hurts.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Prepare him room.