And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. – Colossians 3:15-16
I leave my house early every Sunday morning. It is dark and there are very few cars on the road. Before I leave my driveway, I turn on my worship playlist and begin singing songs of praise to God as I prepare myself for worship that morning. Sometimes, I sing all the way to the church. Sometimes, I turn off the music and spend time in prayer… I’m glad it is dark or other drivers might just think I am crazy.
That time in the car is so important to me as I prepare to encounter God in worship. It gives me a few minutes of peace and focus before the busyness of Sunday morning begins. I find it important to take extra time to draw still and open my heart and mind to God. I know that when I do this, I am more prepared to receive God and God’s word for me that day.
This is the gift of the Advent season. We are given four weeks to focus on the arrival of Jesus in the world. Our worship, decorating, and devotional life are important times that we set aside so that our hearts are open, and our minds are ready to receive the Son of God, the gift of the Father’s unfailing love in our world.
December 25 will arrive regardless of our preparation. However, to have the Christmas experience that God desires for each of us, I believe we need to prepare ourselves for the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem and in our lives. Over the next few weeks, I want to encourage you to set aside time to create space in your life for God. Show up early to worship, sing worship songs and hymns on the way, commit to a daily devotional time, and look to what God has for you this Advent and Christmas season. I believe that if we prepare Him room, God will gladly come and fill it with His holy presence.
Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship