I decided to start things off with Joy to the World because of one line in the song: Let every heart prepare Him room. A little background trivia, Joy to the World was not written to be a Christmas song. Isaac Watts wrote it in 1719 as a reflection of Psalm 98, in which creation itself sings with joy. Who knew?
The red-hot question this time of year is "Are you ready for Christmas?" which means, is your tree up? House decorated? Shopping done? Presents wrapped? Cookies made? Cards out?
Just once, I would love to answer that question by saying, "Yeah I'm ready! I am so pumped to celebrate the birth of my Savior I can hardly stand it!!!!"
I think of the movie Elf when Elf finds out Santa is coming and just about loses his mind. I want to answer like that. "JE-SUS! JESUS IS COMING!!"
What does it really mean to be ready for Christmas? I think our song holds the key: "Let every heart prepare Him room."
So, how do we do that? How do we prepare Him room? I know when I am making room for something in my house, it usually requires me to get rid of a lot of stuff I'd been hanging onto that I don't really need. I need to do some rearranging.
I need to make room for Jesus by letting go of old resentments, bitterness, regrets, and other things of that nature that crowd Him out. There might be someone I need to forgive in order to make room for Jesus.
I need to stop focusing on the tasks of the season and focus on the why of the season. It does not honor God if I am too stressed out to see the majesty of what He has done for me. That's not what He wants for any of us.
Sometimes, I need to prepare Him room by getting out of His way. I get so focused on my agenda and all the fun we are going to have (she said through gritted teeth) that I miss what He has planned for me.
Let's all get our brooms out and sweep away what doesn't belong in our hearts. Let's prepare a place for our Savior and truly seek the joy that comes from Him alone this Christmas season, and beyond.
One of my favorite renditions of Joy to the World is on Chris Tomlin's Glory in the Highest Christmas album. I can hardly keep from dancing when I hear this song. En-JOY!