Counting down to Christmas?

Written by Rev'd Cameron Butland.

Often Advent is thought of as the time of year when you wait for Christmas.

Many of our Advent customs encourage us to think of this time of year as a  count down – Advent Calendars, Advent candle wreaths, last posting dates, shopping days to Christmas, etc.  All of this can give December the feeling of time passing quickly, of being rushed, just hassle. Advent though is a season in its own right and in many ways one of the most important.  Advent marks the beginning of the Church’s Year, it is meant to be a quiet time of reflection and of space to pray.  So in our churches we have no flowers or decoration, it is a time of dark colours, much like Lent we are encouraged to consider our spiritual journey.  To help us the Church has a great deal of music to evoke this reflective season and in the symbolism of light helps us to think of Jesus the Light of the World. Advent is a time of hope, it is a time to look at what is most important to us, to think of family and friends and to rejoice in all that we share.  Christmas comes out of this reflection but our celebrations of 25th December can never take the place of Advent.  So let us keep and Advent as well as Christmas, whilst may enjoy the foods and feasting of the great day, let it be built on the foundation of Advent.  Our Advent hope leads us to the joy of Christmas, and to know as we journey that the gift of peace is good news to all.Cameron