Organising your own nuptials give you a scary insight into what “preparation” really means. Who gets the invite? How many can we fit in the hall? Wedding list? (Thank God for Jenner’s!).
And how did God prepare for the Incarnation? Invites? All humanity – including dodgy gangsters like shepherds. How many can we fit in? The lot – infinite love is a big space. Suitable gifts? Oh, the whole of your humanity, warts and all. Jim Cotter has a good Advent canticle in his Prayer at Day’s Dawning:
Pilgrims to Jerusalem, to Mecca and to Rome:
faithful of Canterbury, of Geneva and Byzantium:
Gatherers to the rivers, to the Naranjara and the Ganges:
Markers of the journey through the deserts and the mountains:
They celebrate in gratitude, in wonder and rejoicing.
No room for the aloof and arrogant,
for the divisive and superior spirit:
God is greater than the idols of the nations,
deeper in mystery than any faith.
Like a people of old, small, obscure,
stretched beyond fear to a wider belief,
so are God’s people today challenged
by a love that is awesome,
drawn to the gates of a City of God,
whose name is yet to be known.
Advent – get ready to think big!
greater than the human heart,
greater than all the people’s of the world,
greater than the religions that try to cage you,
shatter the idols which we make to keep us safe
to claim us for yourself.
Humble us Living God,
and draw us by the magnet of your love
into the glory of your presence
and the harmony of the new Jerusalem. Amen