Advent this year has been filled with boxes - not those that contain advent gifts but those that are produced by moving house. The packing and unpacking has lent a very different backdrop to the season of preparation and readiness for the Christ child. The spiritual practices of Advent have taken place amidst the chaos of packaging materials, paint tins and step ladders and not in the usual, for me, daily meditation and reflections on the scriptures and season of waiting. And yet, the same God who deemed human beings as worthwhile companions, who determined that we were worth God's coming to earth, has continued to show up in myriad ways this Advent. We may not have tracked down the Christmas tree or the outdoor lights and cards were not even bought never mind sent but God has been more present than ever in the simplicity of creating a home in which there is room for hope, peace, joy and love and room for the baby whose birth heralds those gifts for all creation. And so, on this Christmas Eve, a thanksgiving and a prayer:
Thank you baby God
that gathered around the manger
in which you were laid
were ordinary people
whom you surprised with love,
sharing the good news
with unlikely suspects
whom you deemed worthy.
Thank you baby God
that you did not wait
until we were ready to receive you
for that may never have happened.
Instead, you showed up
without fanfare -
(although a choir of angels must have been quite spectacular.)
You showed up among people displaced
pushed from pillar to post
by the whims of government.
You showed up and made your home among us
asking only that we make room for possibility
- the possibility of hope, peace, love and joy.
And today, God with us, still you ask us to believe
that those possibilities might become reality.
God, we believe.
As we make everything ready to herald your birth once more
may our belief become action.
Empowered by you in our midst
may it be so - for the love of God.