Hark! the glad sound! the Savior comes,
the Savior promised long:
let every heart prepare a throne,
and every voice a song.
– Stanza 1 from Hark! the glad sound! the Savior comes by Philip Doddridge, 1735
Throughout the season of Advent, we hear the refrain “prepare your hearts.” The idea of preparing one’s heart for God is something that many Christians hear in many different aspects of the faith. Preparing for baptism, preparing for confirmation, preparing for first communion (depending on your faith tradition), preparing for the season of Easter through a Lenten devotion or pilgrimage. And during Advent, we talk about preparing our hearts for Jesus. But, as Christians, doesn’t Jesus already live in our hearts? Of course! However, each year, we renew our yearning for God’s presence in our lives through our sacraments and Scriptural cycles. We confess again our need to have Christ’s presence in our lives. We yearn once again to invite God’s presence into our midst. Each Advent, we remember how important it is to prepare our hearts for the Holy One, who entered our world in a lowly manager. Christ claims us for his own, and we must always remember to prepare our hearts for such a Holy Guest to be with us always!