News 

ENewsButton

Sign-up for free e-newsletter

Viewpoint from Revd Dr Steven Sivyer 02/12/2022

STEVEN SIVYER 11-2022Revd Dr Steven Sivyer
Team Rector Designate of Martham Parish Churches

Assistant Rural Dean of Great Yarmouth

 

Many people are finding cash flow difficult.  Making our weekly or annual income from our pension or pay last is a real discipline, as there are so many things that tempt us to spend what we do not yet have.  It used to be that we could purchase some big items under credit, such as our homes or cars, but now we can buy almost anything by spreading the cost across a number of future payments, as new business’ like Klarna have sprung up, or more established business’ such as PayPal now lets you purchase something through them and then pay in instalments.  Then you have companies that offer easy loans, but it is only easy to get the loan; because of their high interest rate, paying it back is much more difficult
 
dove leftParticularly this year, many people are going to get into debt this Christmas, as they grapple with the chasm between the resources that they have and their expectations to celebrate this festive season.  God coming and being with us really is something to celebrate, but it is not something worth going into debt over.  Jesus, who was born in a stable and not a palace, came to free us from the things that bind us, so feel free to loosen yourself from any expectations that you feel weigh upon you to make this Christmas feel festive.  If we truly celebrate Christmas, we do not need to make this an expensive festival, and in recalling that God is with us, we accept that our presence is worth more than our presents
 
Maybe this year it is time to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas, and this can begin now with Advent.  Just like the promise of instant gratification through going into debt, our culture is pushing us to skip advent and get straight into Christmas.  This wallowing in festivities before the festival itself often makes people feel that they are done with Christmas by the end of Christmas Day, yet that is only the first day of Christmas!  We have got rid of advent by using a Klarna or PayPal or even a loan-shark to get straight to Christmas without the discipline of advent.  Advent Calendars themselves have turned something from waiting and counting down towards something greater into immediate gratification as they give you chocolate or even wine or gin
 
May you truly gain something out of the discipline of advent, and then allow yourself to be transformed by Christ, God with you.  Furthermore, these blessings that Jesus offers you are free, for he pays the debt on the cross!

 

 

The views carried here are those of the author, not necessarily of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines