Well, the long wait has finally ended. I have spent the past 23 days making a place for the Lord in my life and my home, to welcome Christ’s presence in my heart.
I have done an act of hope, peace, joy, or love each day of Advent (excluding Sunday, which I consider the Sabbath).
Has it prepared my heart? Well, yes and no. I must admit it has sometimes just been a hassle, as in, “Wait, I’ve gotta write this Advent post before we can go!”, or “Dang, it’s the end of the day, and I still haven’t gotten around to giving anyone some peace.”
But mostly it has been a good thing. It’s good to remind myself year-round that the best way to show God’s love is through acts of kindness. Both the receiver and the giver benefit – it feels just good and right to be nice to someone.
Also, this practice has reminded me that I am capable of showing God’s love daily – it does not have to be some big dramatic display. Small acts of kindness make a difference.
Finally, this practice has helped me to notice acts of kindness. Kindness on my part, and kindness done by others.
Still, in the end, I am left with much to consider. It’s a lot of work to continuously keep Christ’s presence in my heart and mind. I will end with a poem by W.H. Auden which sums this idea up perfectly.
Well, So That Is That - W. H. Auden
Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes -
Some have got broken - and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Leftovers to do, warmed up, for the rest of the week -
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted - quite unsuccessfully -
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
I’m going to keep trying … I hope you will too.