This Sunday marks the beginning of advent.  Advent is about preparation.  Are we ready for Christmas?  Are we ready to welcome the baby Jesus into our world? Many families in the church have models of Mary and Joseph which move from home to home in this season to remind us to be welcoming and prepared for the birth of Jesus.  But, of course, Advent not only celebrates that Jesus came to the earth but also looks forward to his coming again.  This is a much more unpredictable event.  While we make all the preparations for the birth of the baby on 25th December, we need to ask ourselves, are we prepared for the second coming?  When will this be?  The Bible reading for this week tells us that we simply don’t know.  It could be before the 25th December; it could be tomorrow; it could be tonight!  We have recorded for us in Matthew’s gospel the account of Jesus talking to his disciples about this.  The advice that Jesus gives is that we need to be permanently prepared.  Yes, live our lives to the full without fear but always be conscious that Jesus may return at any moment.  When he does, everything else will pale into insignificance.  Are we prepared?