As a boy I would return home from school to the sight of Shep the dog waiting for me at the window. He somehow knew the time I would come back. When I walked in the door, I got such a warm greeting from him. The build up of anticipation was liberated through an excited welcome.
At the moment we’re in a strange season in life as we anticipate and prepare for the next stage, our move to South Africa. Our own experience is coupled with the time of year, advent. The time when children are waiting with excitement to see what presents they get. When the anticipation may actually be more exciting than the day they are waiting for. The time when shops have been predicting high sales. The time when families and friends are looking forward to seeing each other (mostly!)
Christmas is almost here.
During advent season I think back to the anticipation of Israel as recorded in the Old Testament. They were waiting for restoration, renewing and reclaiming of the world by God. They were waiting for the Messiah to come to bring God’s Kingdom on earth. The result surprised many who were waiting. God became man and entered their neighbourhood, our neighbourhood. He was born in a stable and then his family had to flee to Egypt as refugees.
Not the expected entrance of God.
As Jesus surprised the world in his long-awaited arrival, he continues to surprise us. He surprises us with hope, with joy, with love and with peace. May he surprise you this Christmas.
Merry Christmas to each of you.
– p & d