I have been thinking of the words, "Let every heart prepare him room."
As we prepare our homes, decorate our trees, hang our lights, frost our cookies, and prepare our feasts, we are preparing room. We are making space to remember: something amazing happened. They waited for him then, and we wait for him now.
I'm thinking of the words, "Repeat the sounding joy."
As we sing in the choir rehearsals, hear the music at the mall, smell the cinnamon, and drive around town to see how Griswold has outdone himself this year, we repeat the sounding joy. We do it again - to remember what is joyful, and to rehearse for the joy to come.
And here's what I keep learning: it's okay if it's hard.
Remembering and rehearsing are not always easy things to do.
And so, I think of these words, tucked quietly inside the third verse of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, so quietly you could miss them.
"And ye, beneath life's crushing load, whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way, with painful steps and slow,
For glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing."
If this is your season of pain, then you can have one job: rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing.
All you need to do is listen.
You don't even have to sing along.
You don't have to feel it in your core.
You don't have to do all the work to make it all sparkle and shine.
If your heart is tired, they can sing for you.
You can rest and listen.
Let every heart:
Prepare him room.
Repeat the sounding joy.
Hear the angels sing.