Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; Luke 1:39-41
Mary finds out she’s going to give birth to the Son of God. She’s also been told that her cousin, Elizabeth, is already six months pregnant. Mary’s first considered action? Go to Judah and see Elizabeth.
Nothing says “Road Trip” like new babies!
So begins the first Advent, which lasted more like nine months, give or take. Certainly the better part of a year. I’m guessing Mary becomes pregnant not too long after Gabriel’s visit. Since John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb on hearing the news of Mary’s arrival, I say she was pregnant then. A long trip out, the same trip back to mark the beginning of the 2nd trimester, and she still had Joseph to deal with, the census, and barn birth coming.
Marty had a busier Advent than any of us could imagine. We’re cooking in modern kitchens, putting up decorations, and buying gifts, hopefully on the sly. Mary’s maybe dealing with morning sickness, a possible betrothal-divorce, and the risks of giving birth even under the best conditions.
I’m sorry…what are we getting ready for again? Jesus’ arrival? I’m thinking, ah, …no! He’s been here and gone. The scripts says He’s doing a return gig to call a wrap on Creation; that’s Cut! Scene! And Print!
We’re getting ready to celebrate His birth, not another coming. We’re not even doing it anywhere near His real birthday.
Is God ok with us celebrating and appreciating Jesus’ sacrifice? Sure! Does He enjoy the songs that are written and sung to praise and commemorate His birth? Absolutely! It’s when we start straying from the center of that focus that I have to wonder how much if it He likes.
Advent. We’re getting ready, but what for? We’ve heard the clichés so many times, I doubt we really pay attention to what’s being said; “Get ready for Jesus coming?”
Like I said, physically, He’s been here and gone. Spiritually, he’s already here, in which case we’ve missed the boat with “Getting Ready.”
Try this on; maybe we just need one more Advent. Ever. Just to get ready to face the reality that He’s here. Now. Either in your heart or knocking on its door. Maybe we need to sweep away the traditions that clog our perceptions like so much plaque in our spiritual arteries.
Get ready. Get set. Whoops – don’t go! He’s right next to you!