Preparing and waiting
In the name of God, Father Son and Spirit amen
On this Advent Sunday - the colours in the church again change from Green to purple. Advent has always been a time of preparation, a time when we prepare again to hear the story of Christmas.
It is also is a time when our readings focus on the future, and look forward to Jesus coming again.
In our gospel reading this morning we read - “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
Back in my student days, I have lived in various halls of residence, one of the legal obligations for those halls were that there would be fire drills,checking that systems were in place to make sure that all the people would be out and checking who was there and who wasn’t.
Down in the Church of Ireland college we had a system of fire marshalls on each of the floors of the accomodation block. Late one evening I got tipped off that there was going to be a drill early next morning. My alarm was set to go off 30 mins before - so that I had enough time to be up, showered, dressed, coat on and in the dinning room getting a cup of coffee. I distinctly remember that morning - One of the staff members came in looking perplexed seeing me in my coat and scarf ... so early in the morning. but I was prepared!
Others who weren’t so well prepared were out in the slippers, their dressing gowns. You certainly could tell who were prepared and who were not.
Prepared and Waiting.
Our readings this morning call us to preparation - preparation necessary to be ready for the future.
At this time of year there is much preparation being made for this Christmas.
Just yesterday, I popped round to st. Moula’s for their christmas fayre and came away with a bag full of christmas cards, wrapping paper, treats to have in the cuppboard, just in case visitor pop round... lots of preparation being made. Shops are geared up for us making preparations.
We all are making preparations to celebrate Christmas this year and rightly so
However our readings today prompt us to a different kind of preparation
when we think about the church’s year
Christmas tells us of the incarnation Christ was born
Good Friday tells us that Christ Died
Easter Day tells us that Christ is Risen
Advent points us towards the fact that Christ will come again
We as Christians are living in the in-between period between the resurrection and the fulfilment of the kingdom. We are waiting for him to return.
We don’t know when he will return (people have tried to predict it but to no avail) but the good news we proclaim is that he will come back and establish his kingdom. The question is are we ready to greet him at the unexpected hour?
The Epistle reading outlines some of the preparations we need to make
This is not pie in the sky thinking, but sensible kingdom living. All of us have some preparations we can make- to get our lives in order, to cut out some things, to take up some things, to re-order priorities.
This advent as we prepare for the coming of Christmas again this year are we prepared to make a list of the things in our walk with God which we need to sort out, take up or find out about.
What would be top of your list?
Perhaps prayer, Bible Study, sorting out a relationship, reading a christian book, taking a step out of your comfort zone, to go somewhere for God.
In the busy-ness of this December, at the beginning of a new year for the church - I would encourage you to take a note book to a coffee shop by yourself and ask yourself a couple of questions - What thing(s) would I like to change in my Christian walk? What preparations do I need to make to make that change?
As we wait for Jesus to return we can prepare.
Let’s do something!
At the end of the third eucharistic prayer in the Holy Communion service we proclaim 3 truths
Christ has died
Christ has risen
Christ will come again
It is that truth which we consentrate on today - are we prepared and waiting?