Christmas countdown

29/11/11 | Posted by Ian Black

The Christmas countdown has now officially begun. Sunday was the beginning of Advent and that waved the flag to get the ‘to do’ list sorted – presents to buy, cards to write, hints to drop, plans to make.

 Christmas Candle

For some the run up to Christmas is one of increasing excitement as the day draws closer.  Parties, magic and sparkle abounding, carols and log fires, children’s smiles and wonder: the magic is heart warming.  For others the fantasy does not match the reality of stress, maxed out credit and dysfunctional families.

Advent has a deeper side.  It looks in two directions.  On the one hand we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.  We can use the run up to rerun the bible stories that provide the background to his birth.  For some this comes to the sound track of Carol Services packing out churches up and down the country.  These tell of creation, the presence of sin in the world, of hopes and longing for a solution.  It gives us the traditional story replayed in nativity plays in playgroups and primary schools causing a surge in tea towel sales.

But Advent looks in another direction too.  It fast-forwards to the end of time when this Christ will come again and take us to the place he has prepared for us in heaven.  It reminds us of the hope that Jesus brings, the hope of salvation and a life beyond this life.  That is the point of celebrating his birth at all – the reason behind the season.

Star light, candle light, fire light: all of these add to the magic of Christmas.  The true light, though, comes from Jesus who brings hope whatever the reality of the festival itself.  When we need a bail out because of the mess we have made he offers us a new start.  When we feel our currency has been devalued he shows just how much we are worth.  When we are surrounded by signs of inequality he raises us all up, adopting us as nothing less than sons and daughters of God.

Advent helps us prepare for what is to come – festival and final.

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very useful i liked this Ian, thank you

#1. By julie on December 16, 2011




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