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I think this is the most disorganized lead-up to Christmas I have ever experienced. Moving and preparing for the wedding have taken all the time available and more.

A couple of years ago, Debbie’s granddaughter, Grace, arrived at her apartment, which was all decorated for the season, and announced that it was very different from home, where there were, “No decorations, no tree, no nothing.”

This year I am afraid this may apply to Nanna’s house!

Being prepared is the essence of the season of Advent. Ready to celebrate Jesus’ first coming and living in anticipation of the second. In an ideal world it is where we all should be, but my experience is that so often he catches us unaware.

The classic example of this is his arrival in Bethlehem. As the wisemen discovered with their visit to King Herod in Jerusalem, the rich and famous were not expectant. As we know at the time of the birth, it was the shepherds who were alerted by the heavenly host to the tremendous happening in the nearby town.

It was they who were faced with a choice to go or to remain in the fields. Unprepared and fearful, they set off in search of the baby about whom they had been told. After seeing Jesus, they returned to their tasks, rejoicing at what God had done.

The key for the shepherds was that although unprepared, they were willing to make the journey to Jesus and to be open to understanding who he is. This is critical for us all to consider this Christmas.

Ready or not, are we willing to encounter Jesus?

Blessings of the Season,