Lincoln Advent: 7 December

Advent Prayers, 7 December
Church Pre-School and Toddlers Groups

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filed with the Holy Spirit, and exclaimed with a loud cry:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
(Luke 1.41-42)

In the story of our salvation, the first person to recognize Jesus is the yet-unborn child — the embryonic John. He leaps in Elizabeth’s womb, and some instinct of hers (of his?) says that this is no ordinary turning. Something special is going on. It is time to rejoice with her cousin Mary.

Later, the shepherds will come in wonder and the Magi will worship; but John and Elizabeth ‘see’ Jesus first and their response is sheer, unbridled joy.

Advent is a time for celebration. Technically, I suppose, that is not true. It is a time for waiting and watching and praying and preparing: for the presence of Christ in the manger, and the presence of Christ in the world to come. The big party comes then, when we see Christ with us and enter a world transformed. But we know what is coming, and there is no point in pretending otherwise. Our preparations are a form of celebration, and there is time, now, for joy.

Today we pray for the work of pre-school and toddlers groups around the diocese. Young children have a healthy disregard for our schedules and plans. They will not conform their emotions or behaviours to the not-yet of Advent. If given half a chance — the chance of generosity, love or laughter — they will claim it’s Christmas and the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Advent is indeed a time of waiting — but it is as much God’s waiting, as ours. God waits for us to realise that the children were right all along. God is with us. Now is the time of rejoicing. The dream that God dreamed in Mary goes on in you and me: Christ with us. Christ in us. Christ between us. Christ hidden and revealed. Let us rejoice in Christ coming, even if God’s work in us is not yet done.

the original post is here.

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