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Viewpoint from Rev Rosie Bunn 16/12/11

Rev Rose Bunn
Rector of St Peter & St Paul Church, Burgh Castle and All Saints Church, Belton
dove leftThese days it seems that we spend so much time preparing for Christmas! We start in September or October in order to accomplish everything. Mid-November sees Christmas in full swing in the shops, with the popular Christmas hits of previous years repeated over and over again as you do your shopping and the adverts on TV and in the newspapers so familiar they are almost ignored
We have advent calendars, full of chocolate treats, on sale everywhere with pictures of many children’s favourite characters; some with Father Christmas, but very few making any attempt to focus on the real count-down to Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I think celebrating Christmas is very important. I love Christmas; with all the lights and decorations, the family gatherings, the special food; carol singing; the fun and laughter and the giving and receiving of presents. What I find difficult is that the central figure in the Christmas celebrations is often side-lined or left out altogether. Many of us get so caught up in the practical preparations we forget that Jesus is the reason for this season and when we over look Jesus we miss out on so much
 Dove right
Advent is a time of preparation; the Latin word “adventus” means coming. In the church Advent is a time for preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ; preparing ourselves for Christmas, yes, but it is also, like Lent, a time for reflection; a time for reviewing our lives and considering our readiness to worship Jesus, the Saviour
The story Jesus told of the ten bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom to appear is always a challenge at this time of the year. Five of the bridesmaids through they were ready; they had their lamps and oil. The other five, just like the first five were ready, they too had their lamps and oil, except they had gone that little bit further. They had extra supplies of oil that would keep their lamps burning despite the delay of the bridegroom
However we use Advent and the run-in to Christmas can be the difference of whether we make do, going with the flow at this busy time, or spending some time (rather than money) on having the right spiritual focus for Christmas
You might have all your presents bought; they might even be wrapped! You might have all your food prepared or ordered and your home decorated....... but if Jesus is not at the centre of your celebrations, what are you celebrating, because Christmas, begins with Christ
This year, why not put Christ back into Christmas – visit your local church and hear the message of the Christ-child; of God coming down to earth in human form so that we might know him and know of his love for his people


Dave Weeks (Guest) 19/12/2011 10:47
Nice one Rosie