This Advent was going to be a good Advent. I have one of those about once every five years – where I have the Advent candle and the Advent book well in advance, I light the candle each evening, and while it burns I read, pray, watch the flame, have a cuddle with God my Father. I don’t often use Father imagery in my head – it makes very little sense to me. But having time to climb into my Father’s lap and claim a cuddle each day seems important, and it’s something I aspire to do every Advent.
But then Advent arrived. The calendars are still in the loft. I have just found and lit my Advent candle for the first time (it’s 4th December today), and if I hadn’t bought two candles last year I wouldn’t have one now. I was going to follow pamsperambulation.wordpress.com and I’ve tried, but I’m still waiting for the book to arrive. Her lovely thought provoking posts stand on their own merits, but I wanted the book too. I was going to start on Advent Sunday, but I had no energy left. I would have started yesterday, but I was busy throwing up (no, not pregnant, a bug). So here I am, late again. And of course the candle starts from 1st December so I look even later.
Then I read the reading for the day from Advent Readings from Iona. It was all about being late, and staying alert to the signs of the coming of Kingdom. There’s hope for me yet. I may be late to Advent, but I’ve arrived. I can wriggle in and claim my seat – and there are seats enough for all.
We don’t all get to the same point at the same time. But in most corners of most places, someone is doing the best they can.