This Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent which ends before the first evening prayer of Christmas. It is a time of preparation for Christmas when the first coming of God’s son to earth is recalled, but also a season when minds are directed to Christ’s second coming at the end of time. It is officially “ a time of joyful and spiritual expectation” . It quite often doesn’t seem like that; its more like “Do we go to your Mother’s or mine?”, “Can we afford to get that present?”, “I’m running out of time”, “real tree or artificial? “, you get the drift. It is important – but not easy – to take a moment and remember “the reason for the season” that is, the coming of Jesus, the Saviour. But what do we need saving from? Maybe we should see Advent as a wake up call to the world, or at least a wake up call to ourselves to remember what Advent is really all about.
The events of the past 18 months or so have shown us that we cannot take anything for granted, life is a privilege and we should live it well, whilst remembering why Jesus was sent to earth. We need to increase our strength of will for doing good and be an advocate against injustice. The coming of Jesus signalled a new age in which justice, mercy and God’s saving reign will flourish. It may not feel like this on earth at times, but when you remember that Advent is concerned with not just Jesus’ birth, but his second coming, trying to be that little bit better as a person, gets a little bit easier.