Happy New Year!

This coming Sunday we start a new year as Christians. We begin the season of Advent, and we begin to tell ourselves again the story of our faith. We start at the beginning, at the birth of Jesus, and we remember the different aspects of His coming.

About advent

For those of you who don’t know exactly what Advent is all about, a little explanation.
Advent is a season in the year when we take time to prepare for them coming of Jesus, to get our hearts ready to receive the King. It is the four Sunday’s before Christmas, and is characterised by four themes , hope, peace, joy, and love.

On this blog, as we did last year, we will be looking at each of those four themes, and thinking about what they might mean for us today, to declare that Jesus is the one who brings hope to us, how do we live in a seemingly hopeless world? How do we have peace is a world of conflict? How can we celebrate when everything seems to be going wrong? How can we love, and be loved in a world of selfishness?

Advent is about slowing down at a time when the world seems to be speeding up, everyone is rushing out to sales, trying to get the best deal at the expense of everyone else.

It seems that this time of year highlights the innate selfishness that pervades the human condition. We argue and fight over the most simple things, a car park, a place in line, saving a few dollars. Is this what Jesus came to give us? Not at all, and these are the things that we will be looking at over the next season.

Slowing down

My encouragement to you always seems to be that you should slow down. That is one of the best ways to fight against the way that the world takes hold of us and controls us. One of the ways that Jesus frees us from those systems is by helping us to do the opposite of what is considered ‘normal’. When the world around us is telling us to speed up and be busy, Jesus tells us to slow down, and to be content.

Resist the urge to go fast!

At the mall, when everyone around you is rushing, take your time. Walk slowly, be happy to stay at the back of the queue, wander.

Make going to the shops to look for Christmas stuff an event, set aside time, and relax through it, don’t let the atmosphere of tension eat away at the peace and joy that Jesus has given you.

Be a Christmas Rebel!

Deep Breath

As we approach the season of Advent, take a deep breath. It’s going to be a time that will test your patience, it is going to be a time that will try to make you stressful, but, if you remember to rest in Jesus, if you remember to focus on Him above all else, then you and I can make this journey towards Jesus together. Let’s celebrate the coming of our King!

Featured image credit:
Gareth Harper

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