Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Carol and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to our son and daughter-in-law’s home near Center Point, Texas. We were together with all three of our adult children and all three of their loves. Plentiful food, fun, and laughter, deep conversations-- Life-giving time together, while giving thanks to God for these loving hearts shaped by God’s faithfulness and love for us.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, my son Stephen and I spent the whole day installing new laminate flooring in the (due any day now!) baby’s room. Stephen had torn out the carpet that came with the house – ew – and it was time to refresh and renew and make ready for Baby Boy Wilson! Meanwhile Carol and Avery introduced their kitchen and bathroom to the miracles of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.... When Carol and I were finally driving back to Arlington, we both felt grateful that these parents-to-be finally felt ready to receive their newborn into his new home.
Like our parents had done for us, we had the opportunity to help out with some preparations, and that felt so good.
Preparations. A luxury that Mary and Joseph just didn’t have. A hurried trip to Bethlehem, where they found all the inns to be filled up, no vacancy—finally a little space in some compassionate farmer’s animal barn. Pick up the animal droppings, find some kind of bedding? Too late, the baby is coming now!...
Reflecting on Jesus’ birth gives me a deeper appreciation of the brief time that Carol and I had to help our son and his wife prepare, make ready, make room. That’s what this Season of Advent is meant to be for us: time given by God, space provided in worship and devotions—opportunity to clean out some of the old “ew” in our lives, and make preparations for the birth of Christ in our hearts, once more. May God bless us, every one, as we make the time that we need, in our worship and in personal prayer and reflection, to prepare for new birth. Let every heart prepare Him room.
Preparing, with you, Don