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As we walk through these final days of Advent I find myself, yet again, deeply thankful for a rhythm of life and worship that affords my heart the space and time it so desperately needs to become ever more present to God.  Days before Christmas I am struck by a simple but challenging question - Am I ready?  In answer to the question I find myself turning not to my own devices, but to God in prayer.  I am asking that He would move in divine ways preparing my heart to receive this Christmas season all that He has prepared for me.

By way of reflection I share these though provoking words from Darrell W. Johnson

"In complete contrast to Herod and the priests and scribes, the magi react by seeking the King with all their being.  They did something about the good news!  They immediately headed off to Bethlehem.  They went out of their way to find Jesus Christ.  These unnamed pagans, if you will, challenge us.  They went way out of their way!  They had to travel thousands of miles.  There's no telling how long it took to make the trip.  There's no telling how much money it cost. We have no way of knowing what other responsibilities and commitments they had to rearrange or cancel in order to seek the Lord of the Universe.
They went out of their way!  Are you and I willing to go out of the way to find Him?  Are you and I willing to change some of our commitments in order to get to know Him better?  Or are we going to wait until seeking the King fits into our schedules?  Are we going to wait to deepen our relationship with Him until it is more convenient?  It's not that He is far away and we have to travel somewhere else.  It's just that, according to Dallas Willard, He ordinarily does not compete for our attention.

So we pray:

Merciful God, always with us, always coming:

We confess that we do not know how to prepare for Your Advent.

We have forgotten how to hope in miracles; we have ignored the promise of Your kingdom;

We get distracted by all the busyness of this season.

Forgive us, God.

Grant us the simple wonder of the shepherds, 

the intelligent courage of the Magi, 

and the patient faith fo Mary and Joseph, 

that we may journey with them to Bethlehem and find good news of a Child born for us. Amen

Taken from 'The Most Wonderful Time of All Years - A Christmas Reader for the Season of Advent' by Darrel W. Johnson