Advent is a time in our church year when we joyfully clean house in preparation for the visit of a much beloved guest. It is the time when we reflect upon that guest’s first visit as the Messiah, the anointed one so long awaited by the Hebrew people. This is also the time when we prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ, the return of that guest, the one that will usher in the Kingdom of God, a time marked by our full reconciliation with God as we, in love, for all eternity become united with each other and with our Creator.
Jesus Christ is the guest we all are awaiting. We clean our houses so that when he comes, the guest is assured that he has been expected. We are prepared for his arrival. As Christians we understand that this is our opportunity to make ourselves and our world ready for the Kingdom of God. But what does this readiness mean for us? It means that we listen to Christ's teaching and learn what God's will is for us: to love God and to love one another. Such love requires that our hearts be clean. So, as we await this coming, we strive to remove all of the ugliness, all of the un-love that clutters our lives, in order that our houses - our hearts and minds - can become truly clean, truly worthy of our guest. This is what Advent is for us: a reminder that God is calling us to put our houses in order in anticipation of God's eternal Kingdom.