Advent, in December is the period of ‘anticipation’ and ‘arrival’. As we progress through Advent it seems that the volume and complexity of seasonal lights on houses and properties increases, reaching a peak in intensity at Christmas. The Advent Calendar, whether traditional, with windows showing the Nativity, or offering sweets, or even the digital versions to be viewed on smart phones etc. help us follow this progress to Christmas.
In Church we use an Advent wreath of five candles symbolising the Patriarchs,
the Prophets, John the Baptist (purple), the Virgin Mary (pink) and the Christ Child (white) which are lit in turn each Advent Sunday, starting with the first (purple) Patriarchs candle, and ending with the (white) Christ Child, the ‘Light of the World’, on Christmas Day.
We have had our Christingle service, with the collection going to the Aberlour Child Care Trust, and our ‘Nine Lessons and Carols’ service held jointly with the Polish community, which tells the story of Christmas. This is a time of celebration.
The origin of Christmas gifts lies in the Christian tradition that says God gave his son, Jesus, as a gift to bring us life; we reflect that generosity by giving gifts to each other. When there are so many divisions in our own society and the world, the Christmas message is always the same – Immanuel – God is with us, bringing peace, joy and love. May we all know God’s richest blessings in our homes and families this Christmas time.