Are you full? Full of anxiety, fear, sadness? Full of apathy?
The times in which we live are difficult. Our region of the country is being particularly hit with economic adversity. The unemployment rate runs from 30%-50% in the Inland Empire. It feels like a wilderness without a sign of any promised land. It is in this same wilderness that we are making preparations for the coming of Christ. This is our context, our Bethlehem.
Without judging the contents of your spirit, consider emptying it out, being empty. Clear out all the furniture in the house of your soul, even the things you consider lovely. Be an empty room for the creative endeavor of God’s spirit in you. Could you let God redecorate?
We decorate the exterior parts of our lives to prepare for Advent: the church, our homes, the mall. It gets us “in the mood” we like to say. Consider how you decorate the interior of your living, the living room of your soul, where life’s meaning is made. Think of your spirit as the barn into which Jesus is born. What needs to be in place for Christ to be at home in you?
Consider also this. It is not good to wander alone in the wilderness. It is good to have companions upon whom you can rely for support, encouragement and friendship. Let your Advent preparation include decorating your life with the meaning of relationships and community at church. Congregational life is the Inn where there is always a safe place for one more.