The Christmas Season Is Approaching – What Does This Mean?
Us Brits try and put it off for as long as possible, but eventually the Christmas Season takes hold of the country…
The beginning of the Christmas Season is now murky and ambiguous.
In the times before the rampant commercialisation of the Festive Season, when the Christian Faith was more prevalent within the communities of Britain, the beginning and end of the period was more defined.
Traditionally, the period of Advent (which begins on the nearest Sunday to the feast day of St. Andrew) lasts for the breadth of four Sunday, running up to Christmas. This year, it will be the 27th November.
However, the observant might have already noticed Festively packaged food items creeping on to the shelves – suggestively putting thoughts of Christmas into our minds ahead of Advent.
There are no rules or law as to when people should start discussing Christmas, or even using the period as a way to create brand awareness. John Lewis, for the last few years, have done well out of investing millions in creating powerfully emotional – yet slick – adverts, capable of ‘warming the hearts’ whilst also reminding the viewer of where to shop for their presents.
For most people, this advert is a calling to think about the practicalities of christmas: presents, travel plans, dinners.
But what should Methodists be thinking about?
Even though we are yet to officially reach the start of Advent – it does us no harm to start considering the implications of this period of expectation.
It can be easy to take a superficial view of what Advent means to us Methodists, with the many rituals and thematic readings that we can, sometimes, grow a little weary of.
So, before we surround ourselves with the rich purple hues that denote the season, let us consider the theological ramifications of Advent and how we can let it effect our daily routines.
think towards your charitable actions
Matthew 5:42 says: “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”
As the Winter months draw in, the cold winds and rain drive us indoors, into the warmth of our homes. It’s important to remember that there are those not so lucky to have their own refuge.
Giving to charity can be as simple as buying someone a cup of coffee
Proverbs 29:7 says: “The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.”
The bigger the sacrifice you make, the better you can make the world – so don’t let the bad weather keep you from exercising your charitable nature – go on and make someone’s day!
Consider those who might be alone for the period
Ephesians 4:32 says: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
The Christmas season can be a painfully lonely time for those with few friends – so why not take the time to keep those people company. It can be as little as dropping in to a Hospice once a week or a Retirement Home.