A friend gave me a devotional book last year that I've been saving for November. It's called, "Watch for the Light"...reading for Advent and Christmas. I thought I'd pass along some thoughts to you as I read through this over the coming days.
In "Action in Waiting" by Christoph Blumhardt, he challenges us to open ourselves to receiving Jesus. That's what Advent is about...preparing for his coming. But he's not talking about getting out the decorations and buying presents. He's talking about how we need to be alert to hear what God is saying to us when he speaks. So, he's broadening the idea of Advent to our entire life. Will we receive God's word - even his correction - when it comes?
He gives an example by saying that the cook learns to cook well and the farmer learns to farm well (today he might say the computer analyst learns to analyze well). But suppose that God comes to you and says, "Listen, don't simply cook as the world cooks or farm as the world farms. Stop and think how to do things in a way as to please ME!"
Then he says, "Maybe you will say, 'What do you mean? That's the way I learned it and that's how everybody else does it'. True, everybody does it that way; but you do not need to. Those intent on Christ coming into their lives have to bring a different way to their lives."
It's a subtle thing...doing things well versus doing things as to please God. But to those that want to receive Jesus' coming, it's an important distinction. Blumhardt challenges us to humble our hearts in order to hear God speaking softly to us.