Monday, 20 December 2010
Hurrying to Bethlehem
People, even in the church, do get impatient with Advent - and want us to move on to celebrate Christmas. Advent hymns are not as well loved as Christmas Carols. And yet, if we do not wait and wonder, can we ever be prepared to welcome the gift of God's son? Even by observing Advent, is our preparation ever enough?
The wife of a colleague was laughing today as she confessed that, by the time Christmas comes, they will both be miserable, worn out with all their Advent efforts. I know that feeling of slumping over Christmas dinner (and, yes, I know how fortunate it is to have that luxury in such an unjust world). I would plead for at least another week of preparation. But then, I'd probably use that up too. Can we ever be ready? Does it matter? God comes. God is with us. Contemplative or frazzled, rested or exhausted. God is accustomed to surprising us and has survived much worse than our lack of readiness. Those powerful themes of advent, Light, hope, love, peace are themes that need time to be absorbed and retold. Christmas comes, God is with us. All in God's time.