During Advent, this time of waiting and preparation before Christmas, our services have been themed around, “The Return of the King”. We started by thinking about the quality of our wait for the return of our King, Jesus. Are we fearful, unsure what to expect, or expectant and focussed. We went on to start thinking about our level of activity during the wait. The story of John the Baptist showed us that we are to be waiting actively, preparing the way, in our own hearts and in the world. Last week, in the context of the Christingle service, we saw that part of that preparation is for us to be Christ’s light in the world.
Today is the last Sunday of Advent, and we’re going to look at another aspect of the preparation of the way, in our hearts and in the world.
As we heard in the reading we are taking our example from Mary, the mother of Jesus. Although we are reading this story on the Sunday before Christmas Day, she would have had this experience 9 months ago. She has been waiting and preparing for the birth of her son since then, and probably is by now even more impatient for Christmas Day than we are.
The brief dialogue we have heard started Mary’s time of waiting and helped to sustain her through that wait and preparation for Jesus’ birth, and I believe that it can help to sustain us through our wait and preparation for Jesus’ return.