Once again the debate is raging, which is the best Christmas advert…John Lewis, Sainsbury, Aldi, Lidl, M & S? I like Googlebox, so I do like the Sainsbury one this year. Someone recently said It is not Christmas until the Coca Cola truck is back on the screens! What is Christmas all about, parties, shopping, eating, mince pies, snowmen, Santa Claus, flying reindeers, cards, trees, decorations, cribs, carol concerts, turkey, wrapping paper…within all this the secret of Christmas is partially hidden, obscured by the commercial drive that kicks in now. But now is advent, and advent is a hope filled time, a grace filled time, an opportunity to discover buried and hidden, the truth of Christmas; the hope of Christmas, so beautifully put by a great spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen
“Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things—the weather, human relationship, the economy, the political situation, and so on—will get better. Hope is trust that God will fulfil God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom.”~ Henri Nouwen
Taken from “Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Nouwen's Own Words”
Rediscovering hope and encountering joy for Christmas, this is the task for advent. Turning expectation on its head, this is the task for advent. Uncovering Christ, buried in the rush and clamour of the these next few weeks, this is the task for advent.
“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes” Joan Winmill Brown
Over the next few weeks I pray that we might be up for the task of finding Christ and placing him at the very heart of Christmas!