Traditionally Advent was a time of fasting, of waiting. The party only really started on Christmas Eve. Like Lent it remains a time of reflection, of consideration of our place in the eternal stratagems of God. Advent is a far cry from the hurly-burly of shopping and roistering yet we should be thankful; glad that we live in a culture which still celebrates Christmas with such gusto. Even so the church needs more talks, films and get togethers to open up the Christian faith to doubters and disbelievers. Evangelism is a challenge but remember the referees of yester-year shouting, ‘Play on, play the advantage?’ Even if the opposition team had fouled the ref could see the game was moving your way and didn’t stop for a penalty. That is the situation we are in.
Consider the hardened atheist in his party hat, sipping mulled wine and searching for the perfect gift for the love of his life. Never penalise him, for he is following however unknowingly the basic steps of our faith. Whimsical maybe, but his paper crown unconsciously acknowledges the crown of our king. The mulled wine the warm blood of the new covenant. The search for the perfect present echoes man’s eternal quest for meaning, for the ultimate gift of God himself. The wise men understood this as they gave gold, frankincense and myrrh to the child they saw as king.
When people ask: Do you like Christmas, do not conform any longer to the prejudice of our age. No need to burble about it being over commercialised. Reply: I love Christmas. I love it; every last bauble, cracker and jingle bell. Why, you ask? Why love Christmas? Because it marks the birth of Jesus Christ Our Saviour and Lord..durrr!… The true light that shines in darkness and gives light to all. The darkness has not understood this. We have and we believe the night is almost over. Let us walk in the light of the Lord.
By Andy Milne
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