Christmas Comes Early!
Advent moves us in the dark cold surroundings to think about the need for light in our darkness. Every single year we get ready for Christmas. We all do it in our own way. Some have been Christmas shopping all year, burrowing away little presents here, there and everywhere.
Left to my own devices, I love the Christmas eve Argos trip.
It became a bit of a thing for me. It's fun to find all the presents from one big book over the space of an hour with absolutely no other option. My family did however have a good few years of pretty dire presents, topped by the year I gave my Mum a purple toilet seat!
I have since married an amazing woman. One of her brilliant traits is to get me out shopping a little earlier. So that's that tradition parked.
I'm a tad mixed in my head about whether I love the early arrival of Christmas on our streets and in our shops or whether it annoys me. I think it initially annoys me, because I am nowhere near thinking about what Christmas looks like at the end of September, however I pretty soon start to feel a pull to think, and I get a little excited about the whole thing. The nights draw in, the air gets colder, and the slippers get more use.
This is where we are now. Advent is the beginning of the Church year, which is well odd for us who are used to Christmas being at the end. But the church uses it as the beginning. Advent, is from the Latin word for “Arrival.” The Church gathers and waits for Jesus at the beginning. We look to the arrival of the celebration of The Christ Child on Christmas Day. We sometimes light candles and have dramatic services that draw us to think about the darkness we were in until that little baby came to save humanity, The Light in the darkness.
Advent passed me by for most of my life. Nobody explained to be what the church is doing in that time. It was just what the church was doing to get ready for Christmas. That's what we would talk about and look forward to, but actually Advent asks us to look at the state if the world.
Advent moves us in the dark cold surroundings to think about the need for light in our darkness. We have a pregnant pause waiting for the arrival. Waiting for the big day. It reflects the world waiting for a saviour, and moves us as followers of the saviour to wait and pause for his return.
We waited for Jesus to come once, and we wait for him to come again.
He came as the answer to all the problems, the way to peace on earth, the path to relationship with God himself and salvation from death. He sent us out to tell the world, the job of that little boy born 2000 years ago is not over, we are still continuing his mission on earth, being led by God, the Holy Spirit, and we wait for his return.
Advent reminds us of the need for our Emmanuel, “God With Us” and shout about the coming again of that same God, as King over all.
This Christmas, don't miss the arrival of it, as I often have, as we see the decorations go up in a world that has forgotten why they are doing it. As you see mince pies served by those who do it for family and fun, not for faith and fulfilment, let's remember that He is coming again.
Wait well, celebrate his arrival well, and as Christians let's celebrate his coming again well too.