Weekend thought

THE season of Advent is upon us, and will go on until Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Advent is about preparation, getting ready. In the shops, it starts way before the season because we need time to “do everything” and get ahead.

I am as guilty as everyone else of picking up things here and there to “put away for Christmas” and can often be heard playing carols in November because December is too busy.

Should it be like that?

The preparation that took place for that first Christmas was minimal. Mary and Joseph were unaware that a census would be taken which would involve them travelling to his birth town.

The innkeepers were unaware that they were turning away the parents of the saviour of the world.

The inhabitants of Bethlehem slept as the most amazing story unfolded around them.

Shepherds were not expecting a full choir to perform for them in the middle of the night.

The wise men were unprepared for a new star and where it would lead them.

Herod was not ready to receive a new king on his patch.

The only preparation that had really been done was by God. He sent his son to be “God with us” at precisely the right time.

What he would like this Christmas is for us to find time in all our preparations for him, to reflect on why he came and what it is really all about.