Category Archives: Advent

The War on Advent

This is literally the best Advent post that I have ever read. Go now and read it too!

“Ancient Christian saints, theologians and evangelists would be horrified that those who claim to stand for tradition have forgotten the most important aspect of it. Jesus Christ was not born that human beings would spend December shopping or saying, “Merry Christmas.” Jesus was born to confront the rulers of this world with the love and justice of the God of Abraham — that Jesus, the same Jesus who preached the the poor and marginalized were blessed, is the King of kings and Lord of lords. All earthly powers pale before him, the humble born one who will die a political traitor to Rome”

Perhaps FOX thinks it might be best if Christians did not spend too much time contemplating a Savior who promised to overthrow the powers-that-be in favor of a kingdom where the poor are blessed and the last shall be first. That’s probably bad for business and does not exactly fit with their favored political philosophy.

And maybe, just maybe, the real war of this season is the War on Advent.”

Prepare – Advent Post #2

Before preparing to change the world, look around your own house three times.
Chinese Proverb

I am back after a week spent in Durham and have been flung into Christmas preparations. Normally Christmas at my mum’s house is my immediate family and Hannelie, but this year the Groblers and Nortons are joining forces and what with that plus some waifs and strays, there will be ten people sitting down for Christmas Dinner. My way of coping with this? Lists. Lots of lists. There is a list for the Christmas food order, a list of presents, a list of decorations, and a list of “others” (buy logs for the fire! Clean the carpet! Take the cat to the vet! Repair EVERYTHING!)

Preparation is key here. I want everybody to feel welcomed, everyone to feel loved, everyone to enjoy the day. Most of all, I want it to be stress-free (yes I realise the irony in this – stressing for weeks so that one day of my life can be without stress!) I am aware, though, that I am likely to be the one causing the stress, what with the lists and the demands and the organising. If I am not careful there will be a schedule for Christmas day and it will all be ruined as I maniacally force people to obey it – “you are not allowed a mince pie until after the christmas carols and before opening the presents!” (Pray for me!)
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Wait – Advent Post #1

I went back to my home church to preach for the first time in months yesterday. It was the first Sunday of Advent and our theme was “wait.”  I had intentionally written a preach that was personal and which, to me, felt quite vulnerable because I included some stories about how things have been for me over the last few months with my mum’s stroke and being away from home. I talked about what waiting in the hospital relatives’ room felt like, what waiting for mum to come home felt like. I asked the question: What does waiting for God feel like?

I think waiting is an interesting concept because it feels so different depending on what you are waiting for.

There are different types of waiting. There is waiting for a bus. Which feels different to waiting for a flight that is delayed. Which feels quite different to waiting for the flight bringing a loved one home for Christmas.

There is waiting for the summer holidays, and waiting for exam results. Waiting for someone to open the gift you carefully picked for them and waiting for the Christmas pudding to soak up enough brandy.

There is waiting for a cure. There is waiting for justice.

But how does it feel to be waiting on God? Is it more like the summer holidays or the GCSE results? If you knew that God was coming tomorrow, how would you feel about it? And what would it look like? What would He look like?

wait

Image © MCC Newcastle (www.mccnewcastle.org.uk)

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