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Advent – Was it always like this?

2000 advents on, and we join with a pattern of our ancestors, of remembering, re-waiting, re-living, and re-hoping.

Was it always like this year?

Were people always aware of a year having gone past too quickly; of anxieties at what might be ahead; of uncertainties about how things would be?

Did they remember the original story of a young girl, waiting 9 months uncertain of all that would happen? Of a man standing by her wondering about his family’s reputation?

Did they re-wait again to see what God would do in their time, because of all he had done the first time?

Did they re-live the movements of the key characters, imagining themselves to be Elizabeth, shepherds, wise men, a refugee family?

Did they re-hope courageously and live generously out of that hope, determined that darkness would never put the light out?

I think because we are in the line of this faith in Jesus, the answer has to be yes, they did.

And so do we. We remember, wait, live and hope – again.

Without sentimentality, without escapism, without nostalgia.

With clear eyes, focussed on the hope that makes sense of everything.