“But in those days, following that distress,
‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
At that time people will see the Son of Man
coming in clouds with great power and glory.
And he will send his angels
and gather his elect from the four winds,
from the ends of the earth
to the ends of the heavens.
[Mark 13: 24–27]
Advent is the time when we watch, wait and get ready – not just for Christmas in its literal sense, but for Jesus in a spiritual sense. Mark’s gospel gives Jesus’ account of what the disciples were watching and waiting for: the end times. Whether these were literal signs to look for, or a warning that everything would change, is open to debate. But they remind us to get ready. To be prepared.
I am a member of Girlguiding UK, and have been since I was eight years old. Whilst ‘be prepared’ is the motto of our brother movement, the Scouts, it was also something that we were encouraged to do. We had to have an emergency kit – which at the time included coins for a payphone (no mobiles then!) – and I needed to know how to pitch a tent, light a campfire, tie knots, do basic first aid and cook on an open fire. All these things prepared me for camp and emergencies – and it is amazing how often I have used these skills since then!
As Christians we are called to be ready, to watch and wait. How ready are you? Do you have a good relationship with God through prayer and reading the Bible? Are you surrounded by others who will help you when needed – perhaps a church or fellowship group? Have you spent time spreading the good news through words and actions, so that others can be ready too? This Advent, I encourage you to spend time getting ready spiritually for God. We may not be able to worship together or it may be different – but we can be prepared.
God of all time
We thank you that you love us and are patient with us
Help us to build our relationships with you
To get to know you more
To bring others to you
That we may be ready when you come again
Come, Lord Jesus.