On this coming Sunday, Advent, one of my favourite times of year will begin. Our Advent candles will take their place in the centre of our Sunday lunch table, Christmas music will be heard and we will each take a turn over the coming weeks to light a candle.
Last Sunday, the one preceding the first Sunday in Advent, is sometimes known as ‘Stir It Up Sunday’. This is when families traditionally came together to mix their Christmas pudding. In many homes, as the ingredients are added, each family member will take a turn and, as they add the ingredient, will make a wish. They might then share their hopes for the coming year or, perhaps, keep them secret.
I mentioned last week, in my blog and in assembly, some of the things which I believe really matter at Christmas time. I talked to the children about how sometimes the best gifts don't come wrapped in glittery paper packages with bows. We tried to identify those things that really matter. For those of the Christian faith, what matters during Advent can be succinctly summarised as:
Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.
So this week, I’ve been thinking about Hope...
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
John F Gilmour