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Activating Advent

December 7, 2015

(This was first published in the December issue of our church bulletin).

This letter should really be about Christmas – it’s the December issue, after all! On the other hand, soon enough there will be Christmas-related things everywhere, so why not slow down a bit and think about Advent instead?

Advent is meant to be a time of preparation – no, not cooking and baking and shopping, but preparing for the Arrival (which is what ‘advent’ actually means): the arrival of the Messiah.

Now, this Messiah was born over 2000 years ago, so obviously we’re not preparing for his actual arrival. But we can still use the Advent season to focus in a special way on who Jesus is, and what his arrival in the world means for us and for the world. We can still be getting ready to celebrate his arrival, waiting expectantly – like Israel waited for centuries for the coming King; like Mary waited the nine months of pregnancy for the birth of the Son of God; like we are still eagerly awaiting his return in glory.

I quite like the “run-up” to Christmas; it reminds us that this is no ordinary baby and no ordinary birthday celebration. And it gives us an excellent opportunity to tell people about the Christ of Christmas.

Apparently a growing number of people in the UK don’t actually know about Jesus; even if they know that Christmas is (or was) the celebration of Jesus’ birth, they don’t necessarily know why Jesus was born, or what on earth it has to with them.

So why not make an extra effort during this Advent season to share with people around you whose birthday we will soon be celebrating, and why the Arrival of this baby is still relevant to everyone!

Happy Christmas!

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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