Reflection on the Collect of the Day for Advent III

These reflections were commissioned by Church of the Ascension in Elmhurst, Illinois and are also being used by Light of Christ in Kenosha, Wisconsin. If you are a member of either congregation, I’d love for you to read these from those websites–it helps them know that someone actually finds these reflections helpful.

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

As we peer forward to the birth of Christ, this mansion we prepare within us stands in stark contrast to the humble stable cave in which Christ entered the world as a human being. Yet I think if most of us were honest, we’d have to admit the mansion we are preparing for Jesus is a bit neglected, perhaps a little dark and possibly quite cramped. It is time to purify! Open the windows, sweep up the dust; some of us may even have an encounter with God this Christmas season that will renovate and add a room or wing on to the mansion in our hearts.

It certainly stands to reason that if Christ were a regular visitor to our hearts, it would be in a better state than we might normally keep it, when we aren’t expecting visitors. As we move from Advent into the Christmas season, may we find ourselves visited daily by Christ in expected and unexpected ways, that we would keep the mansions of our heart ever ready for him.

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