We must prepare out hearts once again for the coming of Jesus

Published 8:57 am Friday, November 26, 2010

By the Rev. Krista Stokke, First Lutheran Church, Glenville

Sunday, Nov. 28, marks the beginning of Advent. I have many great memories celebrating Advent with my family growing up. First of all, my brother, sister or I would open up the window on the Advent calendar, and sometimes the calendar would have surprises in it, chocolate or little toys. Each night during Advent my family would have an advent devotion. It was a wonderful way to prepare for the coming of Jesus. We would sing songs and read some Bible passages. I remember looking forward to it every night growing up.

During Advent we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ.

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Mary was just a teenage girl from a poor family who lived in a little village. Then one day, out of the blue, an angel came to her with a message from God: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David” (Luke 1:30-32).

It must have been hard for Mary because she was not prepared for an angel to visit her. She was not prepared for the announcement that she would give birth to God. She was not prepared for the news that God would be her son, part of her family. What a miracle! What a gift!

But even though Mary was not prepared, she was willing to hear God’s message and respond, obey God’s will, and entrust the future into God’s hands — even though it put her in an awkward, difficult and complicated situation. Mary said, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

God wants to be involved in all areas of our lives. God wants to be born in us. God wants to enter our lives, taking the place in all that we are, all that we say and all that we do. Knowing this gives us the courage to come boldly to the throne of grace and to make our requests known. No matter how dark the night or how impossible the situation seems, we can have hope because nothing is impossible with God!

So when you are faced with a difficult choice, pray for guidance. When you are hurt, pray for comfort. When you need wisdom, pray for guidance. When all odds are against you, pray. We have limitations, but God does not.

May we prepare our hearts once again for the coming of Jesus Christ.

Happy Advent!