Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The weather here has been exceptionally mild this autumn and as winter approaches it shows no signs of getting colder. Nevertheless the ice and snow will come I am sure as it usually does. The mild weather has had a devastating effect on parts of the UK, especially in the North west where flooding has caused misery to many thousands. Nevertheless since the area has been flooded in the past the residents were, to some extent prepared. And that theme of preparation is taken up in the Gospel reading for the Second Sunday in Advent, Luke 3:1-6. Here we are introduced to John, the now adult son of Zechariah the priest, who came to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord....’
In the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, there will be a frenzy of buying gifts and food; attending Christmas parties and the like. Will there be enough food for everyone? Will all the family be able to get here for Christmas Day? Do we have enough chairs for them all to sit on? Or enough beds to put them up? So much to do and so little time! Really, there isn’t enough time to get everything done.
But we need to make time in our busy schedules to remember the true meaning of Christmas – God’s great love for each one of us expressed in that familiar story of Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus and the angels who announced the Saviour's birth. That, all too familiar story, is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.
And whilst out shopping for that must have gift remember the amazing gift that God gave to us: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
Now that is not something you will find in any shop!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years