December 2018



It is that time of year! Yes, the countdown will begin on Sunday 2nd December! It does seem a strange date – why not the 1st of December we will already have started our Advent calendars by then, wont we?

Well, the Season of Advent is shaped around 4 Sundays in which four great themes are chosen that help us to be engaged and focused and prepared to celebrate the significance of Jesus’ birth once more.

Each Sunday, an additional candle will be lit as we walk through these weeks, literally increasing the amount of light that shines in the darkness until we can see the light of Christ shining out from the manger, into the lives of the people he met, seeming to be extinguished at the cross before it bursts forth from the emptied tomb and reaches down through all the centuries to shine on you and I, and stretch out beyond into the future.

This Advent as a Church we are seeking to bring a something of this Christ light into the lives of others – to children far away – through the Shoebox Appeal, to those who are working during the Ridgeway Christmas Lights Switch (Monday 26th November) – through Bags of Blessing and of course to local families through the Hampers.

However, there is a risk, that we are so excited at the thought, or become so bored at all the waiting that we give up too soon, that we settle for one candle and not all five? (The final candle is only lit on Christmas Day). Do we cheat and eat all the chocolate in our calendar and have nothing left to give or receive on Christmas Morning?

Friends, it would have been a rubbish end to what was an exciting climax if the shepherds had said to the angels ‘no thanks Gabriel, we appreciate all the effort you’ve put in, but we like being by the warm fire’, or the wise men had decided to stop off at the motorway café on the way.

Or how about if you prepared the Christmas lunch and then your family send you a text saying thanks, but we’ve changed our minds, we’ve gone to KFC instead? We need to read on till the end, we need to arrive at our destination, we need to arrive at the stable on Christmas Day.

Because it wouldn’t have been the same without any of them and it will not be the same without any of you!

Have faith, it is worth the journey. May you travel wisely through Advent, just as God travels with you.