The 28th of November is the first Sunday of Advent 2021, the beginning of the time when for many people the preparation for Christmas begins in earnest. Children will be opening the doors on their Advent Calendars, writing letters to Santa and counting the days to Christmas Eve when they can hang up stockings hoping they will be filled while they sleep.
As Christians during the four weeks of Advent, we are encouraged to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago through prayer and reflection, as we remember the First Coming of Jesus as our Saviour; but we must never forget His promised Second Coming even if we haven’t got a specific time or place when this will happen.
For Christians, it is a time when, amid the flurry of Christmas preparations, we should be making time to remember with gratitude the generosity of our wonderful God who sent His Son to be our Saviour; as we follow the example of Jesus by sharing His love (and our love} with others, we bring at least a chink of light and hope into their lives in some small way.
Trying to bring a little something special into the lives of others would be wonderful. I feel sure each one of us can think of some way of doing this but can I share a few ideas with you:
- Are there a friends who we haven’t been in touch with for a while? A telephone call or letter - maybe a different one on each day of Advent.
- Do we have a neighbour who lives alone who might appreciate a visit or some help?
- Offer help to a charity - that might be a gift of money or time?
- Offer a prayer for a different person each day?
- Raise funds for a charity, maybe especially one that will help no one to be alone or feel neglected at Christmas.
How good it will be if each one of us could take up this challenge which will help us to prepare for the second coming of our Lord when He asks ‘when I needed a neighbour were you there?’
May you know the blessings of our Lord this Christmas and into 2022
Revd Brenda Russell