Imagine a theatre, an Elizabethan theatre perhaps, the ones with a stage surrounded by seating and an arena for standing viewers.
It’s packed, there is a new play, the program has the title
The Beginning of the Gospel about Jesus Christ, the son of God.’
The crowd are in hushed anticipation, not sure of what to expect, jostling one another for position to be the first to see who comes out onto the stage, to find out about the new story, the new play.
SUDDENLY a curtain above the stage flies open and a trio of trumpeters step out and play a glorious fanfare. From off stage a voice sings out:
‘Prepare ye the way of the lord’
The crowd look from one to another in disbelief, is this what they have been waiting for?
A lone thespian steps from behind a curtain and delivers a speech about a guy called John and something to do with sandals and thongs
It is all a bit much, the audience have heard it all before, it’s the same story in a new box, nothing different from last time.
They were all expectant, but missed the point
Wanted to hear the news, but missed it in the new presentation
Almost unnoticed, and with devastating humility, in the guise of many who are poor and in need, Christ Comes into each heart open to receive him.
Not just for Christmas, not just this Advent, but each and every day