Posted on December 7, 2021 / Matters
How’s your countdown to Christmas? With young kids in a house, the countdown to Christmas usually begins somewhere in October! There was one year where every morning I was woken by the question, “Mum, how many days til Christmas?” I got an app on my phone so could just hold it up instead of trying to speak. As I write this it is 19 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes until Christmas 2021.
When I was a child we had an advent calendar that you opened a door every day to discover a picture behind it and my sisters and I took turns opening the doors. We all wanted to be the one to open the door on day 25 because it was a double door with a bigger picture behind it. I loved the element of surprise and also the expectation of the coming Christmas Day. When my son was three(now thirteen!), he got his first chocolate Advent calendar, and I explained to him that we use it to countdown to Christmas and he will know it’s one more sleep until Christmas, once there are no more chocolates left. So December 1 arrived and he opened door one and got his first chocolate. December 2 arrived and he rushed up to me, “Mummy, mummy it’s Christmas Day tomorrow!”. To which I replied, “No Jacob, it’s still 23 days away.” “But mummy”, he replied, ‘you said that when there were no more chocolates left, the next day would be Christmas, and look, all the chocolates are gone!”
Advent calendars are great fun, the word ‘Advent’ is derived from Latin word ‘coming’ so Advent prepares us for the ‘coming’ of Jesus. Prior to Jesus’ birth, God’s people had been under foreign rule and oppression, and had been waiting, longing for a ‘Messiah’ a king above all kings who would release them from their oppression. In the Bible the prophet Isaiah speaks of a ‘Prince of Peace, a Mighty God’. And after hundreds of years of waiting, a Prince of Peace arrives in the form of a baby. Baby Jesus. And this baby grows into a man who heals, restores and brings peace, dignity, hope and life.
When talking with the students from ELC to Year 12 about Christmas over the past two weeks there are some questions that arise:
What are you waiting for this Christmas?
What does your wish list look like?
What will you be counting down to?
Because the key question is this:
If you were to get everything you wished for this Christmas, would anyone’s life be changed other than your own?
You see, whether or not you believe Jesus was Gods son, or a just a person, you would have to agree that his life seemed remarkable. He lived to restore hope and dignity to people, he changed people’s lives for the better and if we all followed that example the world would be an amazing place.