Christmas is approaching! This is very obvious when you visit a major shopping centre, watch adverts on television, etc. Indeed, the first invitation to buy Christmas cards came to me as early as September (or was it August?).
It’s understandable that businesses work this way, as Christmas sales contribute so much to their turnover. But, for those who don’t run businesses, weariness can set in, until Christmas becomes something to be got through rather than looked forward to.
The season of Advent (which begins on Sunday 30 November) gives time for an orderly and peaceful approach to Christmas, in which the central meaning of Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ – really is looked forward to and prepared for.
For two slightly different perspectives see:
- Advent Is Slow — on Purpose | Desiring God, and
- What Is Advent? – The Season of Advent in the Catholic Church
Click to enlarge the image to read the Christmas services of the Parish Church of Chandler’s Ford.
In Chandler’s Ford, the yearly Advent Sunday evening service (‘The Light and Peace of Jesus Christ’) at St. Boniface Church of England Church on Hursley Road gives an opportunity to prepare by singing seasonal hymns (‘Advent carols’), listening to readings and reflecting as the choir sings anthems and as prayers are read. Do come to this if you are available.
It may help us understand and enjoy Christmas – presents, parties, food, carol services, and so on – in a new and special way.