When you read this there will be only 24 more shopping days to Christmas, shame!!! It is amazing how the anxiety to get things sorted builds up like a 'pressure cooker' and despite Christmas campaigns starting ever earlier, sadly this stress does not seem to subside. It fascinates me how the commercial expectations of Christmas rob us of what should be a time of joy, love and peace.
One of my great sadnesses is the demise of Advent, a time of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Incarnation. It seems to me that Church did get it right by having a period of preparation for the great two festivals of Easter and Christmas, using this as a time for personal reflection and heightening expectation of the central celebrations of our faith.
If I dare to be so bold can I encourage you to find time this Advent, away from the pressures the commercial world is throwing at us, to reflect on what Christmas is really about.
In the words of John Betjeman 's poem 'No love that in a family dwells, no carolling in frosty air, nor all the steeple shaking bells, Can with this single truth compare. That God was man in Palestine and lives today in bread and wine'.
Have a good Advent!
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