Advent, the season of looking forward in faith, is now all around. Its message of God’s coming kingdom is challenging and often uncomfortable. No wonder we try to pretend it does not exist by speaking of “shopping days before Christmas”!

But Advent is a time of promise as well as challenge, if we want to respond to that promise there are a number of things we can do:

SHARE A HOPE

God’s message to his wayward world is one of hope, but hope is a fragile flower. In prayer and action, try to identify with one of the areas of hope around us. For example, the signs of peace in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka for a generation, the beginnings of a democracy in Iraq, the possibilities for restoring communities in Libya!

ISSUE AN INVITATION

Welcome someone into your home that you wouldn’t usually think of inviting. That might even mean a member of your family. Another invitation could be to ask a friend to join you for a Christmas service in church, so that you could share your hope with them.

OFFER A GIFT

Not the kind you always give, but one which is out of the ordinary.

LOOK FOR A CHANGE

“Repent” is another word associated with Advent. It’s a very positive word, implying an openness to change. Christmas celebrates the power of God to transform each and every aspect of human life. Be open to change in at least one area of your life.

May the God who offers us hope in Advent give us joy to celebrate Christmas as the birth of the world – changing Jesus Christ.  We wish you a Christ filled Christmas this year!.

Yours as ever
David Jebb