A voice of one crying out in the desert:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.’”
John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:3-4)
There is a lot going on during advent.
There is the busy stuff as we prepare for Christmas. The gift buying, the decorating, the wrapping, the hustle and the bustle.
But there is the spiritual stuff, too. At least we hope there is. We Christians try to keep Christ in Christmas the best we can.
There is the Advent Giving tree so we can give to those less fortunate.
There are the prayer services and the advent wreath and the daily reflections and Masses and other devotions.
One Catholic church near me is doing a Taize service which I am interested in attending.
Advent is also a time of penance. Our parish has a penance service, which I always try to attend. It is a joyful celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
This year, as in past years, I will struggle to do less busy things and do more preparing for the Lord. More making paths straight. More repenting.
I never totally succeed. But maybe the success is in the trying and the struggles. Maybe each year I succeed just a little more in letting go of the busy-ness of advent. And holding onto what - who - makes this season so important.
Dear Lord, help me to stop the busy running around and sit with you. Help me to prepare for your coming into my heart, into my world. I am sorry for the times I get too busy to notice you. Help me stay on a straight path to you. Amen.