19th December: How have we got to the fourth Sunday in Advent, and beyond, so quickly? Seems like only yesterday I started rambling on about Advent, and here we are on the 19th December.
We’ve decorated the tree, we’ve been to the Carol Service, and we’ve popped the first Champagne cork. Surely Christmas has started? And yet the first day of Christmas – the first of the twelve days of Christmas – is Christmas Day. So why don’t we start on Christmas Day and celebrate for 12 days afterwards? Why do we feel the need to celebrate so far in advance? You could almost be exhausted and fed up of celebrating by the big day itself, and I’m sure many are. I’m still waiting. It’s Advent after all. So we did invite friends home after the Carol service and had a lovely evening but I am still waiting. I haven’t really started!
But I am going to make this my last Advent post. There’s a kind of solemn mood come over me. I’ve told some of the story, I’ve shared some of my thoughts, but now it’s time to focus in not out. I don’t want to miss those rare glimpses of heaven one occasionally gets at this time of year; the tiny snippet of angel voices; the sense of awe at our God who came to earth – not as a King or Ruler or God like person – but as an “illegitimate” baby in a dirty animals’ stall. Humble, servant-like, God.
The fourth candle on the Advent wreath celebrates Mary, undistinguished teen girl, who just accepted what was going to happen with faith and grace. Not exactly an ideal scenario – unmarried and pregnant, but Mary believes what she is told and fulfills her role faithfully and obediently. And the fifth candle represents Jesus himself and we will light it on Christmas Day. Jesus, light of the world, Emmanuel, God with us.
I will continue filling my reverse Advent calendar box, and deliver that to Harlow Foodbank some time soon. I do still have shopping to do, mince pies to make, meals to plan, wine to mull, presents to wrap, and church services to attend. And I want to find time to wait in awe…to wait for the glimpse, or the snippet, or the stirring of my soul. I hope you do too.
From Mustard Seed we wish you all a peaceful Christmas and God’s blessings for 2017.
…with love and a prayer…
Matthew Chapter 1 verses 20-23 says: 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
John Chapter 8 verse 12 says: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”