Exporing the real meaning of advent as Christmas countdown begins
Our three children eagerly opened the first daily Advent doors to reveal a chocolate treat, and I was excited because this year I’d remembered to buy the calendars in time.
Advent is an ancient Latin word that means arrival. Just now there are a few things arriving into ourdaily lives.
A COVID19 vaccine arrived in Britain this week, ready to protect vulnerable lives.
The traditional sales have already arrived in the shops and many of us have flocked back to the high street for bargains.
All over Sheffield living advent calendars are popping up in the windows of local streets, as 25 houses display a hope-filled picture each day in December.
This advent season is all about arrivals, all about preparations.
We are already stocking up food for Christmas, thousands of Christmas trees arrived in people’s front rooms this week.
Some are even preparing outdoor shelters in their gardens so those who are shielding and in Tier 3 will be able to see their family on 25th December – even if it has to be outside.
So what is really behind advent? Advent calendars count down the arrival of Jesus, God-in-the-flesh whose humble birth we mark every Christmas Day.
Advent is a season which anticipates the coming of Christ.
Imagine that! In a world so full of cares and questions, in a season when we are often distracted by what’s on TV or what’s on our plates, there is a far deeper invitation to consider.
The fact that Jesus lived, died and rose to life again is a door which we are invited to open. Many people walk past the door every Christmas, preferring an easier path.
Those who met Jesus two thousand years ago were in no doubt: “Christ became a human being and lived here on earth among us. From him all the kindness and all the truth of God have come down to us.” (John 1).
This year, open the door of your heart to the invitation of Christ coming once again.
The Reverend Nick Allan is a minister at The Well Church, Ecclesall Road, Sharrow.See wellsheffield.com