OVER the past few days, a number of people have said to me ‘It’s coming up to your busy time, isn’t it?
I smile when people say this.
I’m a vicar so I know what they mean.
We’re approaching Advent and Christmas, so there will be special events, including carol services, Christmas fairs and much more.
So yes, the next few weeks will be busy.
But they won’t be busy just for me!
For many people, Advent and Christmas bring extra things to do – shopping for presents, Christmas parties, school nativity plays, shopping for food, preparing for relatives to come visit, and more besides.
All this is a bit different to what Advent is meant to be about.
For Christians, Advent is a time to pause, and to take stock of our lives.
In Advent, Christians remember that Jesus didn’t just come 2,000 years ago, but he promised to return again one day.
In Advent, Christians check that while we wait for Jesus to return, we’re living the kind of lives he wants us to.
When Jesus does return, we want to be ready and waiting for him.
These days, in Advent Christians try to do that spiritual reflection and preparation while at the same time preparing to celebrate Christmas.
This means we want to stop and reflect at the very moment that things are getting pretty busy.
We like a challenge!
But perhaps it would be good for all of us to stop at some point in the busyness of the next few weeks, to check that we’re not missing something important in the headlong rush to Christmas?
St Faith’s in Lee-on- the-Solent, where I’m the vicar, has a number of special Christmas events, to which everyone is welcome.
Our annual Christmas fair is on Saturday, December 3 from 10am until 2pm.
We also have a range of special Christmas services for anyone who would like to come.
And this year, St Faith’s, together with people from our community, is hosting a Christmas Day lunch for anyone who would otherwise be on their own that day.
Details of all these events are available on our web site, stfaithslee.org or call us on (023) 9255 6445.
And may I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and peaceful Advent and Christmas.
o St Faith’s Church is in Victoria Square, Lee-on- the-Solent.
Rev Paul Chamberlain is vicar of St Faith’s Church, Lee-on-the-Solent