Thought for the week, 24 December 2017

By Christopher Ardagh-Walter

The best part of waiting is when you can do nothing more. After months of looking forward, making all the preparations, wondering again whether anything could have been forgotten, at last there is nothing more to do but wait. Like any expectant mother, Mary must have known this. In her case a journey had to be made to Bethlehem, but we picture her sitting on the donkey (?), thinking, readying herself for God’s gift and her future responsibilities. That would be a wonderful way to spend the last day before Christmas. I’m not sure that things actually happen like that – there are too many last minute panics, yet the ideal is there of all creation quietly waiting for our Saviour to come. If our hearts are open to him, he does come to us. But this is not a once a year thought. He knocks at the door whenever he will, at any time. Our place is to hear that knock, and then to want him, to welcome him. Do pray for those people who are busy helping us to enjoy Christmas. Pray for those who are so busy that come the Day they will be exhausted. Pray for clergy, musicians, churchwardens, carers (and parents !) who can hardly allow themselves to be still. And then pray for ourselves that with Mary we may hold ourselves quietly, ready for Jesus Christ our Saviour.