The old book is full of silence. Full of people waiting. Before the earth began, there was silence. Before the birth of Adam and Eve there was only the sound of the animals, of the wind and the birds in the trees. Before Moses could speak, he waited for God.
Before the Christ was born, in a desert town a long time ago, the world was waiting. Unaware. The shepherds were doing their jobs, living their lives, sleeping round a campfire and watching the flocks, without any idea that they were about to meet armies of angels and be pitched, witless, into the dazzling heart of a very big story indeed.
The people of Bethlehem were working, eating, sleeping under their broad sky, unaware of God weaving his magic among them. The wise men had started a journey across their world, unsure of what they would find at the end of it.
No-one was preparing for the birth except the parents. Joseph and Mary were waiting: he not knowing what to think about the unborn child but anxious to find a place for his young wife to lay down and gather her strength; she hoping that the angel had been no delusion, and that the life inside her was as it had promised. Much later, they called her ‘most highly favoured lady’. I don’t suppose it felt like that as she lay among the cows. Continue reading “Waiting: a thought for Advent”