Advent 1

Do you remember the excitement of opening the little doors on an old fashioned Advent calendar to see the miniature picture behind it? We always knew that behind door 24 would be a crib and a baby Jesus, but what was behind the other doors would be a surprise – a mystery. Is that true of Advent itself? We know where we will end up on 24th December but our journey there and our encounters on the way may be full of surprises  and mystery.

This first door is from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis. Lucy climbs in to hide and finds that the wardrobe leads into a parallel world, a world of challenge and adventure, fear and excitement. If we could choose to step through a door into another world this Advent, would we be hoping to step back into the world of childhood Christmases? A time when everything is exciting, the ground is always covered with snow, Christmas trees are tall and everyone is full of love and laughter. When we excitedly unwrap ribbons and paper to find we have been given our hearts desire. 

Or would we hope to step into a parallel world of spiritual well-being? Where prayer comes easily. Where our hearts sing with joyous anticipation. Where every hour we feel close to God. Where our minds are free of worries about turkeys and presents. Where each day takes us a step closer to heaven. 

Or would we fear stepping into a world of endless Christmas bling? Never ending shopping opportunities. Snake-like checkout queues, canned carols and dancing reindeer, fake snow and luminous snowmen.

‘Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight paths for Him.’

Luke 3: 4

O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 

Psalm 34:8

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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