Advent 2016: Nº1

Well I don’t know about you but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the thought of everything that is to be done over the next few weeks. I have lists coming out of my ears, and vague thoughts whizzing into my brain (“must remember to get extra cake ingredients for all the baking…”) that frustratingly are gone a moment later leaving me with with the unsettling feeling most of the time that I need to do something – but what I don’t know. The kids have numerous Christmas parties to attend; and they keep coming up with yet more presents they want to add to their Christmas present list. I still don’t know what to get for several friends and family. It all makes me feel tired and wishing it was all over already. I came across this poem below though – hope it’s as helpful to you as it was to me. With love, Vidge x

An anxious note to baby Jesus – Peter Thurston

Dear Lord,

I feel tired before it’s even started.
The cards (should I bother?)
The presents (who to buy for?)
The decorations (real or artificial?)
The family… (enough said)
The crowds, the hassle, the weather –
Wake me up when it’s all over.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way
but if I’m honest,
Advent –
it makes me weary just thinking about it.

Which makes me wonder,
how was it for you?
Were you weary too?
Just thinking about it?
The call, the life-long challenge, to
hear God,
listen to God,
follow God?
For those with ears to hear
and eyes to see,
to be God?

All begun in makeshift circumstances.
(Sorry, Lord, we were not better prepared –
some things don’t change.)
A sign of things to come,
of an uphill struggle
to make your voice heard.
Uphill towards Jerusalem.
Uphill to the Mount of Olives.
Uphill to the hill of execution.

Hoping we would follow.

Hoping we would understand you,
respond to you,
welcome you then,
welcome you now.

Lord, were you tired before it even started?
Or was your love your inner energy,
the love you received your support,
the love you gave a light in the darkness,
the love you give the strength I need?

Will you help me through Advent, dear Lord,
little one?

Give me the grace to greet you
without suppressed sighs of weariness.
Give me the generosity to invite you home
without thought to the inconvenience.
Give me the will to rise to your demands,
to share your love and to receive it.

It’s not so much to ask, I know,
when you have faced it all –
the Advent task, the Christmas hope –
two thousand times before.

(Source: The Methodist Church in Britain Website