Advent Devotional: Make Ready for the King

Text: Psalm 24:1-10

“Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.” Psalm 24:9

I remember when each of our three children was born; there were certain things that we had to do in order to make our home ready for a newborn. We had to examine the areas of our house and take necessary precautions of every little thing that wasn’t safe, sterile, or baby-friendly. The expectation of a new life prompted us to take such responsible actions.

The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” beckons us to make our hearts ready in expectation of what God is up to. Even when it seems that we are down to nothing, God is up to something!

Advent is a season of telling and re-telling the story of the incarnation—why Christ came into this world. Advent holds such deep significance in that our newborn King, though entirely divine, left His place in glory and wrapped himself in the form of humanity. He was fully God and fully man as he graced this earth. Because he was clothed in our likeness and walked the so-called “mile in our shoes,” we have a Savior who wholly understands our struggles and weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus went to the cross in our place and shed his sinless blood so that we could have redemption and experience new life (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 1:7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21).

Advent reminds us to prepare our hearts for what God is up to. In the midst of all our busy schedules and holiday festivities, we do well to pause for a moment and breathe in the presence of God.

The word selah is found 71 times in the Psalms. Many scholars believe it to be a musical notation signifying a pause for singers and instrumentalists. Perhaps they were pausing to carefully weigh the meaning of what they just read and to breathe a sigh of relief from heaven. In Psalm 24, the psalmist reminds us “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” then instructs us to prepare our hearts that the “King of glory” may come in.

This week, let us take time to pause, breathe in deeply, and anticipate that our King of glory is up to something beyond belief. May the anticipation of new life, new beginnings, and new possibilities give us hope unimaginable. May we remember our past and see God’s fingerprints in where we came from, and may we look to the future in anticipation of the Messiah’s promised return. Let us remember with joy and peace that everything in this world, and those who dwell therein, belong to Him.

Selah

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we long to be that generation that seeks your face. We pray for your peace in this broken world. Even in personal circumstances when it seems we are down to nothing, may we be reminded that you are always up to something. May we be comforted by your history of loving us, sustained by your daily presence, and energized at the prospect of the adventures that lie ahead. We long to see all of your promises unfold in our lives! Your Kingdom come, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Questions for Reflection and/or Family Discussion:

  1. What are some of your favorite Christmas songs and holiday traditions?
  2. When have you been in a season of great anticipation?
  3. What is necessary to make room for God’s peace in our lives?
  4. What does the promise of Psalm 24:1 conjure up for you?
  5. What will you do this week to make ready for the King of glory in your life?

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