Advent is a time of waiting and preparations.  Angels appeared to Mary and Joseph to prepare them for the surprise of Jesus’ birth.  There were a lot of preparations; Mary probably went out shopping right away for diapers and a car seat.

You all helped last week to prepare this space for Christmas by adding the poinsettias, the candles, the lit tree, and the wreath.  You might be doing similar things at home.  I have my Christmasy candles burning, my wreath on the door, and a space made in the living room for a tree.  Then I have to get cleaning; I need to be prepared for company coming over.  We prepare and wait for all the excitement of Christmas.

When Jesus was living (not when he was a baby), he had someone making preparations for his arrival then too.  John the Baptist was his cousin.  He travelled around encouraging people to change their bad habits.  He baptised them so that people could prepare their hearts for Jesus arrival into their lives.

Just as John helped people to prepare for adult Jesus’ arrival, we have an opportunity to prepare for the baby Jesus’ arrival at Christmas.