In December, slivers of Christmas are everywhere, a few presents still to buy, pieces of wrapping paper all over the house, beautiful lights around the neighborhood, the intoxicating scent of our Christmas tree, our simple paper nativity set, the empty waiting stockings, and our advent candles flickering each night at dinner. Everywhere there is a little, often sweet and wonderful, piece of Christmas knocking at my door. In the midst of these signs of Christmas, I so badly desire to still honor the season of Advent and squeeze every ounce of goodness from the short season.
Advent is not about digging your heels in and refusing to allow any hint of Christmas in. It is about ordering your life to the truth of the greatest story of all time, God came to be with you. Advent means nothing without the expectation of Christmas.
We are to prepare and order our homes and hearts to receive the King. God is so big, and I am so small, Advent is a time to grow my capacity to receive and adore the creator of the universe. A time of longing, waiting, excitement, and preparation to receive all that is good.
We can not escape the coming date on our calendar or the constant signs that it will be here soon, so how do we turn these signs into Advent? Into preparation and waiting?
One way is including purposeful advent music into our daily routines. I created a Advent playlist in November and listen to it at work, at home, in the car, basically everywhere. It has placed a constant chorus of invitation and preparation in my heart as I swirl between inflatable Santas and snowmen this December. I can’t run away from the signs of Christmas, and I don’t want to. I choose to see them as triggers. Opportunities and reminders that I want Jesus, I want to make more room for him in my heart, I want to receive him fully on Christmas and accept his kingship in this passing world and the next.
So today, I share with you my advent playlist. It is filled with songs from all genres that speak to our mortality, Jesus’s coming, and the stillness of winter. The playlist starts with a few quieter songs to help slow us down and recognize the creator in this busy season, but it builds in expectation and even gets my toddler dancing at some points. I hope it helps you prepare and focus your heart on the God of the universe and his great delight in you.
Jesus we are making room for you, searching for you, and preparing our hearts for a celebration worthy of the Christ child. We will wait in wonder for the light of the world. Prepare us Lord Jesus, for the nativity of God incarnate.
“When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13