As we draw near to the end of the year, for Christians it’s a great time of celebration and giving. Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year. Family, friends, and neighbours are welcomed into our homes. But what is all the hype about? Well clearly the name Christmas gives us an obvious clue. It is a celebration to do with Christ Jesus, the Son of God the Father. It is a celebration of His birth. He is the reason for the season, and we need to be sure to celebrate His birth appropriately. Unfortunately, many of us are only concerned with the material side of Christmas. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of sales and deadlines and so forget why this month is so important.

Within the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches we follow the tradition of the Early Church by following Advent (which is derived from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’). This is a period of four weeks before the peak of the Christmas Day celebrations that prepare us for that great day of joy.  It is something that some Evangelical Churches are returning to. The following is a quote by Louie Giglio from his wonderful book ‘An Advent Journey of Hope’ where he explains his hope in encouraging all to return to the Early Church’s observance of Advent.

“From the beginning, the Christmas story has been one of fulfilled longing. It reaffirms our faith and gives us reason to celebrate the faithfulness and goodness of God.  Sadly, the frenzy we call the holiday season is a mad dash of tinsel and toys, driven more by consumerism than anything else, creating a perfect storm of anxiety that can easily cause us to miss God’s voice. Christmas is about waiting and hoping in God. My hope is that this Advent devotion will encourage and fortify your faith so hope may bloom again.”  Louie Giglio

I would like to encourage you all the follow Advent this year as a way, in the busyness of preparing for Christmas Day, to prepare yourself for the true purpose of that Day.  Let us not forget Christ.  ‘He’s the reason for the season.’  May God truly bless you and may you have a Christmas full of redemption and resurrection.

Fr Andrew

Read 632 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 November 2017 17:51
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