God with us - are we ready?
“Coming, ready or not!”
The children’s game of hide and seek is a salutary reminder of our readiness - or otherwise - as we travel through Advent and reflect on where it is all leading.
Some of you, no doubt, will have done your Christmas shopping, wrapped the presents, sent the cards and put all the festive food in the freezer. Others will be taking a more laid-back approach and will do your final checks on Christmas Eve. Many (most?) of us are probably somewhere between the two extremes.
God began his preparations for the first Christmas many thousands of years in advance. Throughout the Old Testament, there are prophecies referring to a special child who would be born: we are told his birthplace; his names and their meanings. Many of these prophecies have been fulfilled - though only with the benefit of hindsight do we see them for what they are. Only when the people of New Testament times looked back through their history did they put two and two together and realise what God had been doing all that time.
As we walk through Advent and prepare for Christmas, our main focus needs to be on God himself: on the wonder of his first coming, as a vulnerable baby, and the wonder of his second coming, in glory.
Advent reminds us that - like the children playing their game - he will come, whether we are ready or not.