Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The Gospel reading for Advent Sunday tells of Jesus instructions to his disciples. He says: Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (Matthew 24:32)
Fortunately the years when my day (and night!) was ruled by the alarm clock are in the distant past. Yet I can recall being woken sometime before dawn to snatch a bite of breakfast before dashing out to catch a train. Then the meetings, the appointments, the deadlines - always far too short! It seemed as if I was chasing my tail. Even when arriving home the telephone would ring so that tomorrow's meetings would continue to race around in my head. The Jones visit will mean an early start. It could be difficult. Have I got everything I need? Do I need to phone the office for this or that before I leave? Eventually an exhausted sleep would take over, until the wretched alarm clock woke me! Staying awake, then, was no problem - sleep was! No doubt you can recall times like that. Maybe you are still going through them.
The reading continues: Hold yourselves ready, therefore Matthew 24:44(a). And this is the key surely. Just as I needed to prepare for the next day's meetings all those years ago, so we must all prepare ourselves for the second coming of our Lord. Advent is just the time to do that. There are plenty of resources out there to help. But don't put your preparation off for too long. Remember: because the Son of man will come at a time you least expect him Matthew 24:44(b)
So, Be Prepared. And remember God will walk with you on your journey in faith, have no doubt of that!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years