This week marks the start of Advent. Maybe I am getting older and the days seem to be passing more quickly, but December seems to have arrived way too quickly this year and I feel unprepared for advent. There are so many things I need to do before I can turn my thoughts and heart towards Christmas and the birth of the King.I have sermons to write, people to see, projects to do before I am free. But that's how it would have been on that very first Christmas.People would have been too busy earning a living, doing the housework, tidying the yard – unloading the shopping to notice that Messiah had been born. When the wise men arrived in Jerusalem after seeing his star in the East they were astounded that no one knew that the Messiah had come. Why were the streets not fill of praise? The only people in Judea who knew their Messiah had come, apart from immediate family and Simeon and Anna, were lowly shepherds in Bethlehem. People who lacked the wealth and position to have lives cluttered with doing other things. They were too far down the social ladder to be invited to an end of year gala. They were too poor to send their children to school or to ballet or to enrol in sports, so there was no prize giving or assemblies to attend. They barely had enough money for food so there was no reason to drive to the mall and spend hours buying presents for people who already have more than they need. Living in a one or two room house does wonders for reducing yard and housework. And so living humble and simple lives they had the opportunity to see the heavens break open and the angels declare with great joy that the Messiah had been born, and having little by way of material things to carry, no bulging purse, no cell phone or brief case, or shopping bag they could run with jubilant haste to find and kneel in front of the new born king. Maybe if I humbled myself like these shepherds, if I got rid of the clutter and made room for Jesus in my life then I wouldn't be unprepared for Christmas and I would be already worshipping the King. How about you?