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The Christmas Story

Reflections for Advent

“We’ve lost the real meaning of Christmas.”

 

I’m sure you hear words similar to these almost every year and you might even have said them yourself on more than one occasion. It can be so easy to get distracted at Christmas time with all the present buying, food preparation, and organising family gatherings (or not, as the case may be). In the midst of all the noise, colour, and festive cheer it can be hard to focus our minds and hearts on the true meaning of Christmas, the reason we have such a season called ‘Christmas’ in the first place. Christian communities that follow the church calendar have more success in focusing the attention of the people on the meaning of Christmas because they make a big deal of ‘Advent’, the season of anticipation and preparation for the coming of Christ.

This short set of 25 reflections will cover much of this period that is designated ‘Advent’ and give the reader a biblical nugget to chew on each day on the run in to Christmas. Many of the verses reflected on here might be very familiar to some readers. One possible unique feature of these reflections is that they will broadly follow the flow of Scripture and tell the Christmas story from beginning to end. There is a poem at the end of each reflection which will give the reader a different perspective on the meaning of each passage.

I can sometimes find it very difficult to stop and think about the most important things at Christmas time, so if all that the reader gains from these short thoughts is an opportunity to pause in the busyness of each day to raise their eyes toward the King of Kings, it will be worth it. So let’s begin at the beginning… (click on the date below to read a daily devotion)

Christmas [feast of Christ]

 

Hurry, Star, for we wait below,
The earth in sin is pining
For light to rise upon her face
And crown the dawn of promise.

The Law and promise written,
Words set, the tablets marked,
Jew, Gentile, Roman; all ready
For that coming day to start.

The babe with power, in frailty set,
Adam once again has come
To die, but this one will us redeem-
Where Adam failed, the babe shall win.

Prepare to see Emmanuel.
Pause. For God is with us. Some day
To eat his flesh and drink his blood
To usher in the feast of Christ.

Hurry, Star, we wait below,
The earth in sin is pining.

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High Kirk Ballymena Congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland | Northern Ireland charity number: NIC105563