It is most odd to me that many people often say, ‘O vicar, this is your Busy Time’. As if I have the rest of the year off. The more enlightened might mention something about Easter as well. I’ve never come up with a suitable retort and have resigned myself to the benign ‘yes there is a lot to do’. Or perhaps the more risqué ‘it is the Silly Season’. Then there is the last straw answer – ‘Well people only seem to want two things at this time of year, Beer and God, too much of either is a bad thing’. As I look around at others this year I find myself bemused at this suggestion that it is my busy time. Everyone is busy!! And most people are busier than I am. I’ve always been relatively laid back – some might say horizontal at times. But I do find myself stepping back from the mad rush towards the 25th December. It is of course still Advent, that strange period of time before Christmas through which many want to rush headlong towards the day itself. A time for preparation – but also a time for fasting before the feast, for repentance and reflection. A time to make ready for Christmas and to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ. What then does it mean to be ‘prepared’ for Christmas? Advent is ultimately a time for reflection on the past and the yet to come, so Dickens’ a Christmas Carol should really be renamed an Advent Carol. To be prepared perhaps like the five wise bridesmaids who trimmed their lamps. It might be useful to think about exactly what it is we are preparing for this Christmas, and the key question rather than how should I prepare for Christmas is: ‘What is Christmas preparing us for?’ In preparation therefore this Advent for Christmas: A list.
Listening to endless replays of 70’s classics, or not so classic songs e.g. Slade, The Pogues
There are many trials and tribulations along any journey to be endured
Shopping for gifts, the waiting and frustration. Queue’s at the checkout.
The more adventurous we are on our journey, the more we appreciate the destination. We didn’t expect a journey in the company of Jesus to be an easy ride?
Writing and Sending Cards
Don’t loose touch with those dear to us – just because they are out of sight…
The Advent Calendar and Advent Wreath
Looking forward, looking backward, reflecting on where we have been and where we are going. Waiting in patience is a virtue not to be underestimated.
School Nativity Play(s), Pantomime, TV, Entertainment – The Christmas Film – Carol Services.
We are all story tellers, whether we think we are or not, the stories we tell help us to understand who we are.
The all important Food. The turkey or Goose, Mulled Wine and Mince Pies
When we prepare food for others, we entertain Angels unaware.
Tidy the house for guests
Putting our mind in order is important to, spiritually we often need to ‘tidy up’.
Are we ready though, this Christmas to receive the ultimate gift?
So busy time or not?, maybe it should be, busy preparing for what Christmas brings home to us each year – the kingdom. As the T-Shirt says: Look busy, Jesus is coming