That means that this week we will hear again that lovely and impossible story of an Angel appearing to Mary and telling her the "good news" that she will give birth to a son - or better yet, the Son (for more on this "good news", you can refer to the upcoming sermon). And from Sunday on it's sort of a race towards Christmas.
Have you prepared? Have you stopped and spent time preparing your heart for Jesus? One thing that Bonhoeffer makes a lot of in the reading we've done is that none of us - if we haven't prepared - can ever really even begin to fathom what it means to have Jesus born into our hearts again at Christmas. If we haven't made time to separate ourselves from the business - and busy-ness- and distractions of life; if we haven't made time to wonder as a child would at the lovely impossibility of these stories; if we haven't made time to clear a space in our minds to truly marvel at the majesty of God's power in achieving all of these impossible things - we simply cannot claim to be ready to welcome the Christ.
So if you have yet, this season, to truly stop - whether it's for an hour - or an afternoon - and wonder at the mystery that is God Incarnate - I invite you - and implore you: please, make time to prepare yourself for the coming of Christ. So that when he comes again - when still another time we hear the story of Light being born into a world that is darkened - you will be able to experience the real joy of Christmas - and the freedom of faith in him.
Only in freeing ourselves from the cumbersome distractions - and the carelessness of being an adult - can we begin to wonder, as children do, at the mystery of God. And only when we do this can we truly prepare to know what Christmas means.
May God bless you as you prepare.