Brothers and Sisters:
I write this on the Saturday before Advent begins as there is a flurry of activity in the church putting up Christmas decorations. I guess I can no longer pretend that Christmas is months away and have to start getting more prepared.
We now enter one of (if not THE) the busiest months of the year, both in the church and in the world around us. And yet a month from now the fuss will be almost over for another year, in just over a month the decorations will be put away and the turkey will be made into soup. And maybe we will all have caught our breath again.
But in amidst the bustle of gift shopping and wrapping, the baking, the special events, the worship planning can we pause to find a moment (or a series of moments) to just experience the season? Can we stop and listen for angel song and look for the light of a strange new star?
That is my hope for all of us this season. My hope is that we can shut off the busy-ness and once again feel what it is like for God to break into our world. Because without that all the coloured lights and gaily wrapped gifts and plates of baking lose their meaning (except for chocolates—chocolates always have a meaningful place in life).
So I ask you today. How is Christ being born in your midst? Where is the Light of the World shining in the shadows of your communities?
I pray that we can all be open to see the Christ-child in places that we don't expect – because that is where we most often find God. I pray that in a world full of shadows, and here I remember my favourite Advent hymn (Tomorrow Christ is Coming, #27 in Voices United) which says “The world is full of darkness, again there is no room”, we will see the light shining. The light which shines in the darkness but the darkness can not overcome is coming into the world again. Do not be afraid, for this is news of great joy for all people. A child is born. A Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
Blessed Christmas to one and all!