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Viewpoint from Rev Albert Cadmore 10/12/10

 Christmas is Coming

Revd Albert Cadmore 
Parish Priest at Horsey and West Somerton
Early in November a teenager told me excitedly that his Mum was going to queue at a Norwich store to make sure he would get a copy of ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’. I listened and then told him that I had no idea what he was talking about but I made an ‘inspired guess’ and asked him if it was a new computer game. It seems that it is the ‘must have’ X-Box game for teenagers this Christmas
The fact that its realistic graphics will have thousands of youngsters ‘playing’ at shooting ‘enemies’, in a simulated Vietnam war is, for me, a cause for concern and I recently read an article in which a Vietnam veteran questions the sensitivity of releasing such a game so close to November 11th. However I am sure that it is really more about maximizing sales time in the run-up to Christmas than being associated with Remembrance Day, and I wonder how many youngsters will receive it as a ‘Christmas present’ but will have been playing it for six weeks when Christmas actually arrives
dove left 
I know of children who go through gift catalogues in October or November, to select Christmas presents, and then just have to open them as soon as they arrive. Often, by Christmas, either the gift itself or its relevance as a Christmas gift is forgotten
In my childhood, (and my children’s too), Christmas always seemed to be ‘a long time coming’, and there was a very real sense of excitement and expectation in the waiting.  Sadly, somehow the waiting quality of life seems to have been lost in our ‘must have it today’ society
For most people, the whole of December is very busy with preparations for Christmas, but the season of Advent should really be a time of reflection and thoughtful preparation; a time for considering what Christmas means to each one of us personally
In the life of the church Advent is the beginning of the church year and comes from the Latin word 'adventus' which means ‘arrival’. It isthe time for preparing for Christmas and starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.  
On Christmas Day, the preparation and the waiting is over as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Saviour of the World and Prince of Peace who brings hope to a troubled world and a message of peace, love, forgiveness and the joy of life ‘in all its fullness’.  In the busy-ness of our daily lives it is easy to be distracted, but this Advent and this Christmas, let’s make an effort to stay focused on the meaning of Christmas.  Look out for the Church Advertising Network (CAN) Bus Stop Poster campaign using the slogan, ‘He’s on His way - Christmas starts with Christ’. May that slogan ring true for all of us

Visit your local church this Christmas – a warm welcome surely awaits you!