‘Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.’ - Archimedes
There is little doubt that Advent is about looking forward to the Birth of Jesus and the fulfilment of a long-held hope that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. It is also about being prepared for Christ’s coming again the Second Advent.
The thrust of today’s scriptures is about surprise and then joy for both Elizabeth and Mary. They are also about a reality that we cannot do everything. It is God’s will which is done. The plan of Salvation has had many steps to this point. Samuel tells that there will be a Temple, but it is not David’s task to build it. That will be something which Solomon will undertake. By extension, then, each of us will have a task which is ours and ours alone.
While we are thinking about Advent and Christmas we also have an eye on the Second Advent. While the preparations may take us to Christmas, the greater preparation is to welcome Christ on his return.
This thought is a challenge to the Church to sustain its mission. The birth of Jesus and his exemplary life and his death and resurrection is world-changing. To take forward Archimedes thought - Those of us who stand with Christ have been given a lever to move the world. It is the Gospel of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. It is a Gospel which surprises too. We have a vision for the future as bright as the Star which is drawing the wise men to Bethlehem and as alive as the Angel Chorus.