Getting Ready for Christmas

When does Christmas begin for you? For many people, it has traditionally been the moment they put up their Christmas tree or write their first card or buy and wrap the first Christmas present.  However, in the last few years, the beginning of Christmas has, in the eyes of many people in this country, been linked to advertising and the media and especially to the launch of the John Lewis Christmas advert! This year’s is no exception and features Moz the monster who lives under a little boy’s bed – although, according to some people, it has been given a run for its money by the M & S advert starring Paddington Bear!


Advent is the name given to the four-week period before 25th December when Christians prepare to celebrate Christmas; and despite all the frantic rushing around that we all get caught up in, Advent, as a season, points to a different kind of preparation, a different kind of getting ready. It is about an inner preparation – a preparation of the heart and mind – a time for quiet, space, reflection, prayer and waiting – a spiritual preparation for Christians, as they prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus – the true meaning of their Christmas celebrations. That is why, Furzebank Worship Centre and Holy Trinity Church are organising a Quiet Morning as a way of helping us enter into this aspect of Advent. It will be taking place on Saturday 2nd December, 10.00 am – 12.00 noon, at Holy Trinity Church. Everyone is very welcome and further details can be found on our Facebook page.


If quiet mornings are not your thing, then you might find the new campaign by the Church of England useful. Entitled, #GodWithUs, it features regular texts and emails which you can receive throughout Advent as a way of helping you to pray and reflect. More information can be found on the website:

The Church of England’s campaign reflects the fact that the constant refrain of Christmas in all the carols and Bible readings that we sing and hear at this time of year, is that ‘God Is With Us’. In Jesus, Christians believe, God becomes human and enters into our world, and takes on all the joy and the pain, the happiness and the sorrow, the laughter and the tears that life can bring; and therefore, in Jesus, we see a God who is not removed from us or from our lives but a God who gets stuck in; a God who is right in the middle of all that is going on; a God offering us peace, strength, courage, forgiveness, love – wherever we are and whatever situations we may find ourselves in.


So however you prepare to celebrate Christmas, may I wish you and your loved ones a happy and holy season and may the joy and peace of God be with you.

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