The season of Advent is becoming more of a frenzied countdown to Christmas day these days than a season of reflective preparation. I do not wish to sound like a pre-transformed Scrooge, but Advent has a particular characteristic in the church calendar.
In Advent the themes of the bible readings and liturgy turn our attention not only towards Christ’s birth, but they draw us to think about what is traditionally know as the four last things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell, and Christ’s final advent as judge at the end of time.
Hope, Trust and Prayer
These are challenging subjects and we can be understandably reluctant to confront these themes. We are not called to work ourselves up into an apocalyptic anxiety state but have an appropriate sense of alert watchfulness and prayer. It is a season when we spend time contemplating God’s promises for the future.
The commercial pressure of Christmas can make it increasingly difficult to sustain this as we are carried along with busy preparations.
There is much happening in the world that causes concern, heartache and fear. Advent gives us space to face the world situation with prayer, hope and trust in God’s promises.
Christians are called to pray and the prayer of Advent is - ‘Maranatha – Our Lord, come’ (1 Corinthians 16:22).
When opening your Advent calendar windows and doing the inevitable count down to Christmas, take time to pray, hope and trust.
Thy Kingdom come;
Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus!
Canon Keith Farrow