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Viewpoint from Rev Roger Key 02/12/11

Vicar, The Parishes of Hopton-on-Sea with Corton
Stir up Sunday has just passed and the mad, headlong rush towards Christmas is now officially under way
One would be hard pressed to recognise the fact that we are currently caught up in the vortex of a desperately far-ranging and deeply injurious financial recession by the way that the High Street is pumping out the hype, trying to encourage each one of us to ‘stimulate the economy’ by way of our own wallets. One might even say that they are trying just a little bit too hard to grab our custom and the words ‘Hard Sell’ often spring to my mind when I am being confronted by the waves of advertising that herald all these Christmas Specials
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I am fascinated by the way in which each year over the Festive Season the retail market dictates to us, and how we, in return, slavishly allow them to do so. Our food, our drink and our present-needs are literally catered for by a plethora of offers ranging from the very cheap and nasty through to the vastly overpriced and ridiculously over-indulgent to the scandalously wasteful, but the pressure is always unrelentingly there to disconnect our common sense and to blithely overindulge and be heedless of the consequent pitfalls that will ultimately result from such follyDove right
In the Church, this current Season of Advent gives us a measured time to step off the hedonistic roundabout and to step aside from all these impetuous pressures. It enables us to collect both our senses and our bearings and to correctly focus our prayerful attention on the real Reason for the Season
Christmas will still be Christmas without a giant stuffed turkey and all the trimmings (however Bootiful that may be); and Christmas will still be Christmas without all those presents under the tree; or without the annual glut of expensively sentimental cards that keep the Post Office continually  tripping over their toes. However Christmas can never, ever be really Christmas without the Christ – that single, special Child in the Bethlehem Manger
Makes you think, doesn’t it?