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The word “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly of something having great importance. It is a season in the church calendar which begins in the Western church on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day.

It is a time of spiritual preparation in which Christians look forward to the coming of Christ, not only as a baby whose birth is celebrated at Christmas but also towards the ultimate return of Christ at the end of time. During Advent Christians are encouraged to fast, pray and repent, and also to look forward with joyful anticipation.

It is incongruous that, in a time of such deep and personal spiritual reflection, we as a society – including Christians – seem to be so consumed with the commercialism of Christmas that any opportunity for prayer and reflection gets lost. And I am as guilty of this as anyone.

So this Thought for the Week is for me. Let me say to myself that whilst I should not take the celebration out of Christmas, neither should I take the time for reflection out of Advent.

How about you?

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