Lay you down your burdens, all your fears
And I don't need your deepest secrets whispered in my ear
'Cause I can hear your heart

from “Hear Your Heart,” James Bay, 2015

At this moment, let your heart be open, because God can hear your heart.

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In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:

The voice of one shouting in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight.”

Matthew 3:1-3

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Each summer camp session, my friend would say, “Prior preparation prevents poor performance.” Each time he did this, I would laugh. Years later, I found myself telling this to those I worked with, believing it to be true.

The prophet Isaiah spoke these words when sharing with the Israelites that a child named Immanuel would be born. Maybe the Israelites thought Isaiah was just saying this to be encouraging. Maybe they even laughed, because it took many years before it came true. Neither Isaiah nor John the Baptist are telling the people to prepare highways in the desert or to clean the streets for Mary and Joseph to ride through the city. Instead, they’re saying: prepare your mind, make room in your heart, and be open to the change and peace this child will bring.

Each year we celebrate Advent — anticipating the coming of Christ. We prepare our hearts and minds as well as our hands and feet so that we are not just celebrating, but also ready to partner with Christ in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

Timothy Peoples

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Lord, remind me that prior preparation prevents poor performance! May I prepare my heart and mind each day for more of you in my life. Amen.

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The Lord bless you and protect you.

The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Timothy Peoples

Timothy Peoples is a native of Jones, Oklahoma. He attended Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. After graduating college, Tim began his formal training for ministry at Yale Divinity School. Currently, Tim is a Pastoral Resident at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Advent Waiting: Still, Still, Still

David Burroughs

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