Thought For The Week
'At Christmas we celebrate gift, generosity and open expressions of love. You don't need religion to understand that all of those things make life worth living. The Christian story suggests that gift, generosity and love are basic to what God does at Christmas. It also suggests that religious people sometimes need to relearn this truth from others who have the Christmas spirit, even if they don't know the Christmas story. ~Jane Williams
For many people across Ireland Christmas begins officially when the Late Late Toy Show is on. Last Friday many people tuned in to watch the official start of Christmas and it didn't disappoint with a lovely mix of fun, song, dance, positivity and colour.
This weekend also marks the beginning of our journey through Advent. The season of Advent can be a lovely time to think and reflect about the important things in life. Everyone agrees that Christmas can be a busy and stressful. But Advent can allow us to pause and reflect. It can also be a time to celebrate gift, generosity and ways to express our love for each other in meaningful ways.
We know the world we live in today can best be described as fragile, frantic and often seems to have no anchor. The same can sometimes be described of our own lives too. No matter how busy we are, there is an in built need to mind ourselves, to relax, to be ourselves, to recharge and to prioritise what is important. The only way this can happen is when we slow down enough to do it. Advent can be a lovely time to slow down but as we so well know doing this is always a challenge.
Advent 2017 has a powerful message that no matter how dark things may get there will always be light and hope. The prayers of Advent touch in on each person walking in some darkness and yet awaiting and anticipating a great light. The prayers also include prayers for peace. These prayers are not wishful thinking but genuine heartfelt prayers that can and will find results. Even if these results come in whispers we will gladly embrace them. Advent is a time for us to hear those other quiet whispers in our lives of a God gently calling us from darkness to light. I hope and pray that the coming weeks of Advent will have some meaning for you.