Advent is the time when we as Christians prepare to greet Christ--who came as a babe
in a manger, who comes into our lives each day, and who will come again at the end of
time. Advent is the time when people of faith are most at odds with the culture. The
church calls people to focus on getting ready to receive Christ--preparing hearts and
lives to make room for Jesus, to live as he would have us live. It is a time of longing, not
fulfilment. Advent is a time for quiet reflection, not celebration. The culture, however, is
already in a time of festivity, unable or unwilling, to wait and contemplate and prepare
for the real festival. It is not easy to observe Advent without being pulled prematurely
This Advent we have focused our Advent Booklet on Faith, Fellowship and Feast. A
period of time where we spend time in reflection and prayer, a time where we can
gather together as Christians, and this Advent a time where we share hospitality with our
friends and neighbours. Each week there is a reflection, a recipe and ideas how we can
share fellowship and hospitality, feasting with those you know.
As we think of our theme this year, St Nicholas came to mind, an Advent saint because
his feast day is on 6th December and so always falls in early Advent. However, St Nicholas
is a good Advent saint for more important reasons than the date of his special day.
Whatever he did, and it is said that he did many kinds of amazing things, may not be as
important as the way he did it. Nicholas became so popular because he was a faithful
follower of Jesus Christ. His life clearly reflected the way each one of us is called to show
God's love to others, especially those in need.
This Advent as we prepare for Christmas, let our goodness and kindness be shown in our
deeds, expressing our care for those known to us, to those we need to get to know, and
to those in need. As we engage in the reflections, get busy baking and cooking, may we
partake in a feast of love, hope, kindness and generosity.