I do realize it is Advent 4 today. But it is still Advent for a few more hours and therefore not too late to post something of a reflection. The season has felt short – I spent the first part of it at home in Calgary before coming back home to Slough.
It has felt a bit disjointed in some ways – trying to maintain the dignity of the season at the same moment as preparing for the Christmas services. As I sit here this morning my Christmas Day sermon is only about half written. I have 5 services to participate in today – 2 preaches this morning, narrating the Crib Service, leading the Reflective Service and presiding at Midnight Communion. With friends over for dinner in between. Phew!
I went to Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford last night for Nine Lessons and Carols – Merry Christmas to me! This was a bit of an indulgence of time – but so necessary and an invitation I didn’t want to refuse. It gave me some ideas of where to take my Christmas Day Sermon – will post that once it’s written!
The journey to Oxford was a smooth one – little traffic, trains were on time and had few passengers. I have done the journey to Oxford many times over the last 3 years by all manor of transport – it is a well worn path for me. Some journeys have been better than others.
The theme of journeys and paths came up in two of my three Advent sermons this year. John the Baptist brings the message of hope for the coming of Jesus the Messiah. John also wants us to prepare spiritually for this coming. There are two things, according to John that we need to do.
Firstly, we need to clear a path for the Lord and secondly that path is to be straight. The original Greek word for paths means ‘a beaten pathway’. By this I mean a well-worn path, a path that has seen some use, it’s been established. In a personal way God wants us to prepare a path.
What does that path look like? Is our path to God straight? I know that mine sometimes is more of a meandering path – taking the long way!
Have we made a path for Him to come and do a major and powerful work in our lives? I trust that God wants us to make a beaten pathway to Him. Come to Him over and over again. We also need to clear that path of debris – this can be anything that standing in the way of God being able to work in our lives fully.
I hope that your path is clear and straight – I know that mine could use a little maintenance.