Joy to the world the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing!
A couple of weeks ago I came down with a sickness. It started with that scratchy, drippy throat, which turned into a sore throat, and ultimately I lost my voice for a couple of days. I was scheduled to sing and play piano for my church worship team, so I had to contact our worship pastor and let him know I wouldn't be able to sing. However, other than a weak voice, I felt good enough to play keys for our team on that Sunday.
Something interesting occurred in my rehearsal time at home that I took note of. While removing one detail of preparation, singing, I focused in on the details of my piano playing more. I put more emphasis on the melodic themes and sensibilities that go missing once in a while when I am self-accompanying while singing. My playing became more musical and intentional. I’ve most definitely developed a comfort zone of playing and singing at the same time over the years, yet it is nice once in a while to just do one or the other.
I drew this analogy: It’s easy to overcrowd our lives to the point of not doing anything very well. In doing so, we miss the intentionality we were meant to live in and the themes and sensibilities that the Lord has designed us to take in.
"It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play."
Miles Davis (legendary Jazz musician)
Make room. Prepare HIM room.
Loved Ones, the great composition of our lives won’t be the one that involves us losing our minds just to discover it. No, it will be found when we lose our life to HIM. Perhaps when we don’t play all the “notes” we choose the greater thing, and what is derived is more beautiful.
This greater thing is explained in the story from Luke 10:41-42. It tells us of Mary and Martha, two sisters who welcomed Jesus into their home. Martha busied herself with all the tasks of preparing a meal and hosting her guest, while Mary sat at Jesus' feet and listened to what He taught. Martha was upset and complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t doing the same thing she was doing when Jesus replied to her, “Martha, Martha, You are worried and upset over all these details! There is only ONE thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This time of year, Christmas time, we can especially worry about the many details that seem necessary. The hosting, the parties, the shopping, the baking, and the planning. Yet, taking in the significance and deeper aspects of advent can get snuffed out by the firestorm of activity that surrounds this season. I’m reminded, however, in the story of Jesus' birth of another Mary, the mother of Jesus, who sat by the manger and “treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart,” Luke 2:19.
What does it mean to prepare Him room? I would propose that it’s a settling of our hearts and saying, "I want you most, Lord." When we want something the most, we clear the way in order for its arrival. We plan our lives around it. It’s the one thing that will not be taken away from us!! When many other things clamour for our attention, we CHOOSE Him. May we take on the posture of the two Mary’s in both stories.
Loved Ones, there is nothing like being in Jesus' presence. He is always the better thing. Taking in the peace of what He brings and who He is gives us life that we too often seek to find in counterfeit ways. He is it!
In Him we live and move and have our very being.
My church has a service before our regular service on Sunday mornings called “The Boiler Room." It is a service set apart to just sit at Jesus' feet. We do spontaneous prayer and worship just to prepare Him room. Room to speak, room to move, and room to create. It amazes me every time the way He shows up in the simplicity of waiting on Him. Amazing new melodies and lyrics are revealed. Prayers for the things on His heart are made known. Not programmed. Not rehearsed. Just simply released in a beautiful exchange.
From the mouth of our Lord Jesus we hear the call, the greatest invitation to come sit at His feet. Let every heart prepare Him room and Heaven and Nature will sing! The music will write itself.