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Most of December falls within the season of Advent, but with Christmas cards on sale in October and the switching on of Christmas lights in November, this season often seems to get overlooked in the headlong rush to Christmas. Perhaps itís something to do with needing the light and festivities to cheer us through the dark winter afternoons and nights. Nevertheless, we can miss an important season of waiting and preparation if we are too eager to sing our carols and decorate our streets and houses.
At Christmas we celebrate the incarnation, the amazing truth of God coming alongside his people in human flesh. Advent provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our lives in the light of this truth. What difference does it/should it make to my life that, in Jesus, God is revealed in human form? How, if at all, does it affect my attitude to other people? What can I do to prepare myself once again to celebrate his coming? How can I take on board the Advent themes of watching and waiting, justice and judgment, obedience and hope?
Perhaps feeling trapped in the frenzy and commercialism of our contemporary Western Christmas, Thom M Shuman wrote the following words:
Maybe it is in the waiting for God,
Amen to that! I love the traditional Christmas celebrations, but my hope is that we may all find a space, through the weeks of Advent, to watch and wait, in obedience and hope, and to ponder the mystery at the heart of Christmas.
Gerard joins me in wishing you a blessed Advent and a joyful Christmas.
Yours in Christ,
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