21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
New International Version (NIV)
Advent is the season of preparation…preparation for the birth of Jesus, in some senses “the stone the builders rejected” and who becomes the cornerstone of our faith, of our very lives. In my growing up years, preparing for Christmas included the thrill of making our own Christmas wish lists with careful consideration of the catalogs that were delivered to our door.
The days of Advent were filled with rushing through present shopping for our many relatives, busily sewing or knitting handmade treasures to be placed lovingly under the tree (finished or not), fervently baking dozens of traditional Christmas cookies to give to friends, and diligently cleaning and cooking for family who would gather at our home to celebrate the season.
This fever-pitched preparation continued to be part of my early adult experience of what it meant to “prepare for Christmas.” In my current life stage, however, my work (and challenge) has been to slow down, become present as much as possible to each moment, and discern where I am being led. Today, as I prepare again for the celebration of Christ’s birth, I consider what it means to truly embrace him as my cornerstone, and make space in my life and my heart for God to work through me.
Dear Creator, help us to find space in the busyness of preparation for Christmas to truly prepare our hearts for you to dwell in them, in this season and throughout the year. Amen