So there’s this man walking through the crowded airport singing. Full voice, beautiful tone. The airport is bustling on this day. It’s thanksgiving weekend and everyone has their faces turned homeward, back to their daily agendas as they enter into the Christmas season. And the strains of this man’s song rings out above the hurried travelers looking for the gate, grabbing their coffee, boarding their planes.
Holy Spirit you are welcome here. The bustling crowd keeps on. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. “One coffee please, can I check the size of my carry on?” Your glory God is what our hearts long for. Come on kids. We’re at gate E-18. Hurry up, please. To be overcome by your presence, Lord. No one halts, but his voice is heard as he walks onward.
We gather our bags, show our tickets, board our flight. We fly towards our home, away from the Thanksgiving festivities. Back to routine, back to busy days, back to filled schedules. But somewhere I still hear the voice of that single man above the crowd – the voice that sings welcome to our Lord’s presence. That song stays with me. It becomes my prayer as I enter into the advent season.
Holy spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by your presence Lord.
Our pastor speaks of Martha this morning at church. How she let herself become so consumed by the tyranny of the urgent – the meal planning, the house cleaning, the party organizing – that she missed out on what was truly important. He encourages us to make time for Christ, to sit at the feet of our Master, to use this advent season as an opportunity to quiet our lives, to carve out space in the midst of our busy lives, to say no, to let go, to seek Christ above all else.
The thing about Christ flooding our place is that things must be moved out of the way in order to make space for Him. We cannot plead with him to pour out Himself in our midst if we have left no room for Him.
Today begins the season of advent. Candles flicker in our homes, Christmas carols are being sung, lights are strung, and halls decked with holly. Our outer world is entering the Christmas season. Hearts are eager, spirits are expectant, souls are hungry for what this season has to offer. Warmth, family, love, cheer, tidings of comfort and joy. But as long as our outer world is crowded, as long as busyness and task-oriented mindsets reign, we will only experience haunting shadows of the things that we are hoping to experience this season. We cannot expect to arrive at Christmas Eve with genuinely merry hearts if we have not created space in our inner world for Christ to work. Our Christmas season will remain merely external décor that has no bearing on the aching needs within.
Advent is meant to be a season to prepare, to prepare our hearts for the coming King. It is a time built into our Christian calendar to rekindle our intimacy with Christ. But it will not happen by osmosis. The mere exposure to all things Christmas will do nothing for our relationship with Christ. We must make space, we must clear out our hearts and our schedules, we must sit down at our Savior’s feet. It is then that we will receive the gifts of Christmas He is eager to offer, it is then His Spirit will flood this place and fill our atmosphere.