It seems sometimes that Christmas is a week from now. Already in early November walk around the supermarkets – chocolates and the mince pies are already on special offer. We are fooled I think into believing that this is a sign that the supermarkets are on our side, that they want to help us prepare in good time for Christmas. Let me tell you a secret – they are only doing it to make more money.
There is a sense all around us at this time of year and people telling us to get excited, and doing so for a number of reasons. You must get into the right spirit – that is why the radio stations, bombard us with festive music in order to make us think nice Christmassy thoughts. This is why the shops and the TV encourage us to prepare for the bonanza of gift buying and film watching. You will get into the mood by buying presents and enjoying the latest movies.
The world seem to be telling us that it is what YOU do that makes YOUR Christmas a successful one. If YOU get into the mood it will be fine. If YOU buy the right presents it will be a success. If YOU watch the right TV Programmes, you will be happy.
The really successful way to enjoy Christmas, is to realise that it is about us doing absolutely nothing and God doing absolutely everything. The birth of Jesus is the moment when God becomes human in Jesus Christ.
As we recall the birth of Jesus and reflect on the Biblical town of Bethlehem, we cannot help but think of the Bethlehem of today. Let us remember those living with the after effects of Covid 19, suffering from cancer & other diseases, those who die in the sea fleeing their countries for different reasons, famine and wars and those nations and cities in other places suffering from the effects of injustice, hatred and conflict.
Advent is a time to renew hope in a God who loved the world so much that a child was sent to proclaim a new heaven and a new earth. Advent is a time to rejoice that today is not too late to start anew. In the chaos of our world, we hear the angels proclaim, “Do not be afraid; I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) We rejoice, for the world can be a different place, knowing that THERE IS A ROOM for everyone.
Peace and Joy