The ADVENT BLOG
27th November 2018
This is the first in a series of blogs specifically for Advent, setting the scene for the first and successive Sundays in Advent, leading up to Christmas day. We hope you enjoy them. You can download these as a PDF documents individually each week by using the link at the bottom of the screen, and we would encourage you to share, mail, facebook post, tweet these blogs throughout Advent.
So this is Christmas?
Last week I found myself in Oxford Street… amidst the razzle dazzle of the Christmas lights, just switched on; better and brighter than last year and years before. As I was coming down the escalator in a large department store, the sight of all that junk we think necessary to celebrate the birth of Jesus, born in an out-house in Bethlehem, is staggering, bewildering… and really quite depressing. At the tip of the iceberg, consider the melon, the banana, the lobster and a Mexican death mask on sale as Christmas tree baubles - really? Really!!!
And that's before we consider the enormity of the enterprise, let alone the price versus the cost of the items for sale, both individually and
collectively. In Britain we spend an estimated £15 billion on Christmas presents and another £5 billion on food over the festive period, every year.
Coming down that escalator I did also wonder what “16th century man” would have made of all this frivolous pointlessness. Don't misunderstand me, I like Christmas, but this experience crystallised my view about commercial Christmas, which had already been rekindled on seeing a Christmas magazine in a supermarket… on the 13th August!
Christmas is a very special time. Its also a very stressful time… all that planning, purchasing, cooking, wrapping… who’s coming, how long will they stay, will they all get on? The opportunity, just like the magazine said, is to “Get ahead for Christmas”, but grabbing a moment to take stock is difficult. But thats exactly what Advent calls for and it's really Advent that starts the Christian year. It's a time of preparation, hope and expectation of the coming of Christ, not only as a new born but also the second coming. A time of thanksgiving, patience, humility and joy.
Just about this time a year ago we at New Way started to take a good look at ourselves, review our vision and mission, revitalising our reason for being, to reimagine our role in the community, which amongst other things saw prayer visiting reinstated and latterly a fantastic project for the hygiene bank.
So why not take the opportunity to use this Advent period for a
personal reflection. Time to de-clutter, re-focus, use it as your preparation for the coming King. Perhaps first reflect on the greatness of our Fathers love for us, and His Christmas gift to us, the greatest Christmas present ever given, His only son. And then consider how best to put that gift to use in the year to come.
You can download this blog as a pdf by clicking on the icon here