v. 17: The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let everyone who hears say, "Come." And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
Here we are. As the sun goes down today, we begin our Christmas celebration. How are you entering this time? How have you prepared to hear the news of glory for God and peace on the earth? Who are you today to welcome the baby of Bethlehem to the world again?
If you're like me your preparation has been spotty. I love Advent and I try to use the time to get ready in a way that is different from much of what is going on around me. But this Advent the distractions have been many. I was away the first week of Advent which put me behind on all the things that have to be done at church this time of year. A so far mysteriously painful right foot and right hip has kept me limping most of the season. I have not had any desire to buy gifts this year, which is a must in my family. So I'm sitting here this morning feeling something of a failure.
As is often my experience, though, that may be precisely where God wants me to be, or it is at least the place where God can do something with me. It is probably massively counter-productive that I want Advent to be a time for me to prepare a mansion for the baby to find waiting for him in my heart, and all that he wants and needs is a cowshed. Imagine last Sunday's Collect of the Day re-written:
Purify our conscience, O Lord, by your daily visitation: that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a cowshed prepared for himself...
I like that. I hear good news in that.
The reading from Revelation this morning suggests I really need only two things today to be ready to celebrate: a willingness to "come," that is, I think, show up; and thirst. I think I can do those things. I think you can too. The companionship and the water that will meet these needs are both free.