How do you prepare for something? If you’re taking an exam, which many college students are doing this week, you study. You say “no” to things that sound more fun in order to read and cram and memorize. If you expect a hurricane, you batten down the hatches; a tornado, you take refuge in your basement. Brides carefully adorn themselves down to every tiny detail – dress, hair, jewelry – to be as beautiful as possible for their groom. Then there’s the spiritual preparation. I devoured every book I could find on marriage and how to be a good wife. Steve and I took tests together and went through pre-marital counseling. We wanted to be prepared.
The second Advent candle – another purple one – is called the Candle of Preparation. (This year it is December 8.) It reminds us to “get ready” for God to come be with us.
The color of this candle speaks to Christ’s royalty. He is the Prince of Peace. How do you ever get ready to meet a prince?
Queen Esther had to go through quite a process to prepare herself to talk to her own husband, the King of Persia. Before she could even enter his presence, she had to put on her royal robes. If he was willing to talk to her, he’d hold out his golden scepter and she could proceed. As I thought about what I do to prepare myself to meet the King, I realized I also have to put on royal robes.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.– garment of salvation and robe of righteousness. Isa 61:10
Because of what Christ did for me, I have free access to the King of Kings anytime I want. So do you. He provided the robes for us and He stoops to clothe us. We can come boldly to His throne. Anytime. Anywhere.
John the Baptist was born with a distinct mission: to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus, his cousin. Because his father, Zechariah, didn’t initially believe the angel who told him his elderly wife would bear a son, he was unable to speak. For nine months. He had lots of time to be silent and contemplate things. His first words after his son’s birth were ones of praise to God. Then he spoke these words about his infant son:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; to give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:76-79
Let us volitionally take time to be silent and ponder, as we prepare ourselves for Christ.