“Let every heart prepare him room.”
Today’s sermon on the first Advent Sunday was about hope. Our pastor said sometimes we are so filled up with other things, that we have no room, no time for Jesus. And yet that is what Advent calls us to do. To prepare some space for Him.
Our pastor spent about nine months last year with a serious illness and multiple surgeries. He said that he felt pretty hopeless for some of that time. He said that his doctor, who kept saying, “You will get better,” was a source of hope for him. He suffered many setbacks and infections. He felt the love of his family and his church family, and that gave him hope in the face of hopelessness.
Before Jesus was born, the people of God were waiting, yet kind of hopeless about ever seeing the promised Messiah. God seemed far off and lost in the fog. Isaiah spoke for God when he said, “Those that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength.”
Hope is worth making room for. Hope is the only way we can get past the hopelessness of our bad behaviors, our strained relationships, our self-absorption. God was silent for 400 years and then sent his son as a tiny baby. Those who never lost hope were able to recognize God’s love in the Christ child. If we put the hopelessness aside, we can look for God in the tiniest things. We can realize how much God loves each of us, and renew our strength to keep trying. We know God can help us when we can’t help ourselves.
As advent begins Lord, I look to you for hope. I promise to open my heart and offer you some room. Please come in, Jesus.