Advent’s completed…

We’re nearly there

and I’m nearly ready

At last! Four advent scripts for four advent Sundays. Head on over and enjoy hearing from fictionalised (but I hope plausible) Biblical characters about some the events in the run up to Christmas. Joseph wonders how the start of his new family will play into the promise that God made to his ancestor King David. One of Herod’s advisors investigates rumours that the true king will come from Bethlehem. Elizabeth considers the strange circumstances that have led to her old age pregnancy and Mary’s mum shares the shame that her daughter’s pregnancy will bring on their family.

As I’ve been writing these I’ve been considering (with a lot of help from Tim Chester’s book One True Story) different perspectives on the story we all know and love. People weren’t expecting God to do what he did: to come into the world as a vulnerable baby, to be part of a human family with all its complications and challenges, to work miracles in ordinary and unimportant lives, to fulfil reams of OT prophecies yet not to act in the way we expect and people just weren’t ready for it.

Advent is a time to get ready then. I, with a lot of help, have completed my Christmas shopping, also bought presents for December family birthdays, visited and been visited by relatives and friends, wrapped presents and decorated the tree. I could consider myself ready for Christmas but there is much more to it than that.

I’m ready to celebrate but am I ready to embrace the fullness of God as a saviour, as a judge, as God with us? Am I ready for him to come again? Am I ready to admit where I fail to trust God in my life? Am I ready to admit where my understanding of God is wrong? Am I ready to change my life and my attitudes this Christmas?

I think, once again, I am going to need a lot of help with this. Thank God, then, that I have it!

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More Advent Stuff

Just in the nick of time

or was I aiming to post on the relevant day?

(It’s the first one.)

The script for Second Sunday is up and on the second Sunday of Advent. This one was a little harder to write as I didn’t get the inspiration I had with the others. It’s also been a busy week with people visiting, but I’ve definitely got inspired for the next one so see you on Tuesday as usual!

To all the hard working children and youth workers out there…

This post is about being overwhelmed.

I really felt it today. Work was tough. And I was reminded a lot today that it’s important; and that there’s so much stuff I haven’t done yet.

At one point I locked my office door and hid under the desk. So I couldn’t be seen, so I could have some privacy, so I could escape just for a minute or two. It’s not the first time I’ve thought about doing that, but it is the first time I’ve done that.

I got home and I entered a large pile of receipts into the budget. For last month. Because that is something I have been putting off since the eighth (I can be so precise because the receipts are dated).

Then I cried.

Because I needed to get changed and get on my bike and go to youth group. Because I still haven’t cleaned the bathroom and we have guests coming. Because there is an increasing pile of drinks cartons that I haven’t washed yet and can’t recycle until they’ve been rinsed but for a reason I can’t explain to myself I would rather hide them in a rucksack then put them by the sink. Because tomorrow I need to shop and clean and we have a youth group party to prep and then have. Because I can’t remember the last time I had a day where I didn’t have to get up. And because I can’t see the next time that is going to happen in the future.

And I know I am not the only one.

I know that it’s not just Sunday School teachers and youth workers. But I know that for most of us it’s an extra thing we do as well as having a job, or a family, or both. That we have friends, family, church commitments, hobbies, chores and the Christmas shopping and it never seems to stop.

But I also know that Jesus felt it too.

As far as I know he never hid under a desk. But he did climb a mountain, early in the morning, to get away from the demands of his life (John 6:15).

That he felt overwhelmed and as though he needed to escape (Matt 26: 38)

And that he stood up and tackled those things as well. (Luke 9:51)

And that is a great, great news. It’s not wrong to hide. It’s not wrong to cry. And because he knows what I feel like. Because he knows how to get on with it. Because he is with me all the way.

I can go on…