This Sunday, we begin our journey of Advent. If you missed the video on Sunday showing the short explanation of what Advent is all about, check it out at the bottom of this blog post. Advent can be a foreign concept to many of us that didn’t grow up in the church, or perhaps grew up in a church that didn’t observe the season of Advent. 

At The Grove, we have themed our Advent journey “Prepare Him Room.” That is a phrase that comes from the old Christmas Hymn, “Joy to the World.” The first few lines of the song go like this: "Joy to the World, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room…” (Good luck getting that out of your head for the rest of the day!) It is a simple song, and one that is familiar to our ears. Most of us grew up singing that song from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but I wonder if many of us have stopped to consider the implications of what it means for the King of Glory to literally come to earth in the form of a human? That song proves to be a good example of what Advent is like for most of us: it is familiar on the surface, and yet when we pause to consider what’s going on beyond what we know, there is much more to behold.

My prayer this Advent is that we would inch just a little closer to the slower, contemplative life that God beckons us to live. As the world around us speeds up, I pray we learn to slow down. As the world around lights up, I pray that we will have the courage to be light. As the world arounds us consumes more and more, I pray we will learn the value of simplicity. As the world around us become more and more noisy, I pray that we prioritize silence and solitude before our Maker. 

It is in that silent, still, slow, and simple rhythm will we find our God, who so longed to make all things new, he became sin on our behalf. The journey in joy towards gratitude starts now. And I’m honored to join you in the journey.