How are you at preparing? I’ve just started reading a book, “Pursue the Intentional Life” by Jean Fleming. It asks the question: “How will I live the rest of my life?

It’s written by a woman in her 70’s, but it’s for people of all ages to consider how to prepare to live well. Remembering that none of us know how many days will be left in our life.

“Teach us to count our days, that we may gain a wise heart.” Psalm 90:12

Fleming writes that she is taken with the frequency of the word prepare in the Bible. To prepare is to do advance work with the end in mind. She asks, “Is preparation key to the art of living Christ to the end?” (pg 30)

This seems to be our Advent question. How will we live Advent? John the Baptist in proclaiming Jesus in Matt 3:1-12 repeats the words of Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord.

What do we need to do to prepare for Christmas? So that, when Christmas comes we don’t fall in exhaustion, grateful for it to be over. But to live into the gift that is offered: Immanuel – God with us. How do we prepare our hearts to receive Christ?

Jean Fleming writes that preparation makes a difference. It’s not just getting the shopping and baking all done ahead of time. We must plan and be intentional. We must find time to be quiet, read the stories of God-with-us and look for joy. Preparation can bring about enthusiasm and trust and freedom. 

May we take the time to prepare this Advent season not just for “Christmas” – but to live into the gifts of the Christ-child born to us: peace, hope, joy, love. Let us be glad that Christmas has come once again rather than celebrate when it’s over.

We’ll be looking for you tomorrow at 9:00 or 10:30 am as we gather for worship. This is a key opportunity for us to prepare. Jesus’ mercy really does change me, we and the world.

Grace be with you,


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