We are two weeks removed from Thanksgiving. I’m sure each of us has undertaken the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, and come home victorious. Whether you braved the ice and the snow, galavanting all over a tree farm or climbed the heights of the attic stairs to retrieve a box tree, your mission to decorate and prepare your home for the most cheerful of seasons is complete. But, what about your heart? We spend so much time, money and energy on every aspect of the Christmas season, but how often do we pause to reflect on exactly why this time of year is different from the other eleven months?
One of the most popular and oft sung songs this time of year is Joy To The World. Written by Isaac Watts in 1719 few hymns fill our hearts with such exuberance as this one.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
Closing our eyes, we can picture Christ’s coming. What a wondrous sight to behold! We sing of joy entering the world in Christ, and indeed it has. But that’s not entirely what Watts had in view when he pinned this classic. Watts had not just the first advent of Christ in mind, but His second as well. Reflect on Christ’s first coming is imperative before we can ever be ready for His second. Watt’s hymn serves as an admonition to do just that.
“Let every heart,” Watts says, “Prepare Him room.” Below I’ve collected four advent guides to help you do just that. You’ll find a guide for men, one for women, one for families and one for everyone. It doesn’t matter much which of the guides below you grab, but it does matter a great deal if you’ve prepared room in your heart for Christ. Throw open the doors and welcome Him in. In Christ God made provision for you and for me. That is after all what Christmas is all about.