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So many Christmases.

It is hard to believe we are already well into Advent. Advent is a time of prayer and preparation as we wait to celebrate the joyous birth of Christ.

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As people of the 21st century we are not very good at waiting. Our internet speeds have to be ever faster. The average teenager will only spend seven seconds on a web page. We expect parcels ordered online yesterday to be delivered today. Waiting in supermarket queues annoys us. We get angry at waiting times in GP surgeries. We are not very patient.

The children of today often have so many ‘Christmases’ and so many Christmas treats, before December 25th that the concept of waiting for something special sometimes seems to have almost disappeared.

But there is great peace in taking time, creating space in your lives and just waiting. Waiting allows us time to anticipate, time to reflect and time to prepare. During this Advent, we pray that we can all find the time and the patience to discover the joys of waiting.

wp_MultiLingualPeaceDove

It is also a time to avoid the temptation to fill our lives with complications but instead to focus on simplifying our days. Jesus was born of Mary, a Jewish teenager who was probably illiterate.  This simple Jewish girl was central to the greatest happening since Creation – the Incarnation, the coming to Earth by God, in the person of Jesus.  Through Mary, God became human in order to save us.

During these days of Advent, we recall this simple, yet remarkable event and look forward in hope.

hope

As we give each other gifts in Christ’s name, we remember that He has given us so much. The essence of Christmas is Christ among us.  While ‘black Friday’ saw the emergence of retail mania, it is worth pausing to remember that the greatest gift we can give our family and friends is the gift of time and love at Christmas.

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