Advent is . ..Supposed to be
Advent is supposed to prepare us for the coming of Jesus, whose birth most Christians celebrate on December 25. The 17th century Puritans in England believed that Christmas had become a secular, commercial and materialistic celebration that had little or no connection to their Christian faith. Is our culture’s celebration of Christmas today any different from the Puritan view?
Passing one of the many “Christmas Stores “, a chain store that is open for shopping 12 months a year… hearing “Christmas” music such as “Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman” in early November at the malls… and observing the chaos of Christmas shopping, all this makes me wonder… is this the type of Christmas preparation designed to make us think about the coming of Jesus and his teachings about the kingdom of God?
Is buying presents what Jesus meant when he said we should “ love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself”?
Do our culture’s Christmas celebrations distract us from the adult life and teachings of Jesus eg) that we will be tempted, suffer, and die…but that our loving God will always be with us. Do we remember that Jesus was both human (like all of us) and divine, that he was killed on Good Friday, but that death did not win.
Do we remember that Easter proves that as Jesus began a new life, so will we his followers also rise from the dead. Surely these are examples of the “…glad tidings of comfort and joy” that we should sing about when we remember the birth of Jesus.
Finally, as his followers, is it possible for us to tune down our culture’s commercial messages during Advent and Christmas, and remember the wonderful spiritual reasons why we celebrate the coming of Jesus?