Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Waiting for Christmas

Christmas fast approaches.  For some people Christmas celebrations may already have been going on for weeks.  Indeed the first Carol Service I attended this year was on 30th November.  However, in the Church Calendar we are still in the season of Advent, a time of waiting for the coming of Christ.  This is hard for a modern society which wants everything now.  Whether it be instant tea or Prime membership of Amazon we want what we want with all due urgency. Waiting belongs to another age.

Easton Methodist Church, Portland
There are still some things though that take time and where we have to wait. Nature is one area where this is true.  Even though we try to force some fruits and vegetables to grow faster we cannot make them appear instantly.  Babies grow in the womb and continue to take months of growth before being born.

I think waiting may be a very important lesson to learn.  During a period of waiting we are able to reflect on what we are expecting and we are able to prepare ourselves for whatever it is we are waiting for.  In our rush to finish off Christmas by Boxing Day rather than starting it on Christmas Day we may miss all sorts of things.  In our desire to do away with waiting we may find that we are not prepared or tuned in for the possibilities that "God with us" can bring. Indeed we are more likely to be oblivious to them.

I do pray that we might take advantage of this waiting period of Advent in order that we might prepare ourselves to celebrate the coming of Christ into the world.  If you have not reflected on the great mystery and exciting event of God drawing close to us through a baby in Bethlehem then might I encourage you to do that over this Christmas period.  Perhaps you might consider visiting a church near to you.  There might be a Christingle service you could attend, or a Midnight Communion, or a Christmas Day service.  It may be that as we wait for Christmas we might find a sense of expectancy rising within us.  

Christmas this year may mean that our lives are touched and changed in very special ways as we look for the Christ Child who was not only born in a stable so many years ago, but who can be born in our hearts today.