By Elaine Knudtson
“O Come to the Altar” (sung by Elevation Worship)
Prepare to Receive
We prepare to receive Christ through self-examination and confession. We are invited in today’s scripture to “come now, let us settle the matter.” To activate His presence in our lives, we must be willing to let Him cleanse and forgive.
Dear Lord, I confess that it is difficult to let you examine my heart and show me where I need to let go of sin and negative attitudes and fears. It is easier to hide them from you and myself. Give me the courage to be open and give you time to do your work.
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;
Part of preparation for Christmas is cleaning the house, decorating, and baking. Traditions are passed on from generation to generation in families and we add layers of expectations each year as we seek to create those perfect moments for our loved ones. There is inertia that takes hold and we may dread getting started because we remember the amount of work involved in getting ready. However, once we start, the momentum carries you forward and before you know it, you’re into the rhythm of the season.
The same principle applies to “settling the matter” with God. We have a nagging awareness that we are lacking something in our spiritual diet. We can ignore it, hide it, put it off, pretend it doesn’t need to be dealt with, but we know it won’t go away on its own. We cannot forgive ourselves. Jesus waits for us to “come.”
Points to Ponder
- What would I hear Christ say to me if I gave Him a moment to reveal my sins and weaknesses?
- How would it feel to be freed from those burdens?
- What is my first step in preparing to receive?
We give thanks to you, O Lord, for waiting patiently for us to turn to you with our sins. As we prepare for your coming, help us to make time to be open to your spirit. Thank you that you are eager to forgive and cleanse us.