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Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

f you are a mama, you have likely borne the weight of your family's Christmas preparations. Do you feel squeezed? Pressed tight? It's time to "prepare Him room" and prepare our hearts for his coming.


The little boys had hurried themselves loudly out the door, bundled up like snowmen, anxious to jump deep in the sparkling new-fallen snow with all the neighborhood children giddy over a snow day.  A few moments of quiet tempted me to the old piano in our foyer.  Pulling out the cheery, bright-red-covered book, I sat down on the bench, hoping to sneak in a smidge of practice while I knew no ears would be offended by the sure-to-be-sour notes. Turning past vintage illustrations of forest animals dancing and singing around a tree bedecked in popcorn and cranberries, gaily illustrated old recipes, and family craft ideas, I finally found it: sheet music for Joy To the World.

Tentatively, I found the first notes, recited "every good boy deserves fudge" in my head, let my hands search out keys one at a time.  Eventually--slowly!--one chord followed another as the song came to life under unskilled fingers.  My youngest daughter came in and sat close by, anxious to be nearer the music swirling its way round the room.  About the third time through, the song was finally (mostly!) recognizable and we both enjoyed its familiar tune, anticipating an upcoming night of caroling, and hoping talented big brother might treat us to some real piano-playing when he comes to visit!

Later, I had to smile as I realized I'd just blundered my way through the same song Janie Bailey had practiced repeatedly to the frustration of her beleaguered father in our favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life.  If my husband were home, he may well have urged me, too, to "Stop it! Stop it!" --though hopefully not with quite as much frustration as poor George! 

What a different world the Baileys occupied--especially during the Advent season.  We see Mary trimming the tree--on Christmas Eve.  Highlights of their holiday were having dinner with the family and staying up late that night to sing carols.  Missing money notwithstanding, the family's list of pressure-inducing must-dos was much shorter than our own.

If you're a mama, you've borne the weight of most of your family's Christmas celebration. Perhaps your children are feeling it, too; so many rehearsals, finals, too much sugar, not enough sleep. 

So many things to do.  We must be intentional if we want to keep the busy-ness of the season from squeezing all our moments dry. 

Take a deep breath now, friend, and consider the words of the song so familiar you might miss them, otherwise ...

Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love. ~ lyrics by Isaac Watts, 1719 --music by Handel

Joy to the world--the Lord has come.  The Savior reigns!  He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found. Think of that! He rules the world with truth and grace.  And He will make the nations prove the glories of His righteousness--and the wonders of His love.

Let you and I prepare Him room.  Of all the preparations clamoring for our attention, this singular intention, should we choose it, will prove the most worthwhile.

May He find room in our hearts this Advent! Joy to the world, indeed.


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