There is a preparing (Isaiah 40:1-5) that must be done in Advent, but it is not the type of preparing that one might expect. This preparation has more to do with stopping and slowing down and coming to stillness. It has more to do with sitting and pondering and reflecting. This preparation has more to do with being than it does with doing.
For we cannot manipulate God into coming; we cannot demand or manufacture the how and when and where of that coming. All we can really do is prepare the way; it is up to God to do the rest. Fortunately, if we are faithful to do our part—whatever that may be—he is faithful to do more than his. “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,” say the words of the ancient text. That is the promise of Advent.
So let us make space, make time, be still, be quiet, watch, wait, listen, and pay attention—for these are the “activities” of Advent.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that the how and where and when of your coming is not up to us, all we are called to do is to prepare the way. Help us to know what that is supposed to look like during this season of Advent. Amen.