Amid all the carol services I thought I had only 1 sermon to preach tomorrow - at an 8am. Then I've realised I'm not doing that service - so some of these thoughts will no doubt get recycled at some point next week.
Funny how when you're up against it you create yet more work for yourself by doing unnecessary things!
It has been the hardest preparation for Christmas I can ever remember. Like so many I have had the chesty/throaty/coughing and rasping bug.
I’m sick of it, if I’m honest. I’m tired of keeping saying to myself – ‘just keep going – one more thing and then you can rest – just do this & then stop’ and ‘oh I wish I felt better’.
And now it’s here – well Advent 4 anyway – and all the carols services and wonder of Christmas Eve & Christmas Day & then… oh blissful moment when I can stop.
And here, right here, in these readings is the reminder I have needed – that Christmas is God’s initiative, not mine, and I have to ready only to croak out a ‘yes’ to God, for it all to happen.
I came across this prayer yesterday – and I think it says all we need to hear:
Into the bleakest winters of our souls, Lord, you are tiptoeing on tiny Infant feet to find us and hold our hands. May we drop whatever it is we are so busy about these days to accept this gesture so small that it may get overlooked in our frantic search for something massive and overwhelming. Remind us that it is not you who demands large, lavish celebrations and enormous strobe-lit displays of faith. Rather, you ask only that we have the faith of a mustard seed and the willingness to let a small hand take ours.
We are ready.
Come, Lord Jesus.