Advent 2 - The Prophets
I am sure we have all looked back at our lives and decided that if we had known the future we would have made different (and better) decisions at various points. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but not very useful when we are confronted with decisions to make in the here and now.
However the wonderful news is that though we can't know what the future holds, God does.
The prophets in the bible (Jeremiah, Isaiah and Malachi for example) were people who stood up and told those around them God's message. It wasn't always a popular message as often God was not pleased with the behaviour of his people - a reminder that we need to take seriously God's rules for living.
But the prophets had another role as they also spoke of God's promises for the future. In particular they foretold the coming of a great king - the Messiah, Jesus - who would finally bring God's kingdom and blessing.
Advent is a time to stop amongst the rush of activities and take stock of our need for a secure future and the message that the prophets bring. It is a relationship with God that provides true security as it means that God is our strength through all the trials and tribulations of life and our guide to know what is best to do when decisions have to be made. He is the one who knows the future so our decisions in life should be made with his guidance. He does not, however, promise an easy life - after all if we look at the Christmas events Jesus was born in poverty in a stable and the family were refugees while Jesus was at an early age - but God can and does give us a life of peace and satisfaction that is completely unavailable in our world of material things and partying.
Let us stop, look and listen to God in the run-up to Christmas and look forward to whatever the future holds with confidence in our King.