Steve's reflections on life

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Chocolate Calendars
Several years ago, a young lad was given a Cadburys Advent Calendar. Unfortunately, his parents had raided the compartments from behind and replaced the chocolates with poignant reminders about the true meaning of Christmas. Not everyone’s idea of fun, or parenting for that matter!

Advent dates back to the 4
th century Christians and it’s been a central component to the church’s calendar ever since. It’s all about two great Jesus moments. His birth in Bethlehem and his return, described in the Bible as the time when God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. I think there is an unspoken hope in the hearts of all of us that one day pain, sickness, hate and death will end.

Advent is also an invitation to tune into an ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah. As the Old Testament prophets stared into the horizon, they pinpointed precise details about the Christ. Some saw a warrior who would deal with the cruelty of the occupying army, others saw a priest to bring an end to the hypocrisy of a religious system and still others pictured a great king who would unseat the Roman dictators. They were all partly right but not many expected a baby!

When Jesus came he opened a door that was a good deal more significant than the doors on a chocolate calendar. He swung open the eternal door to Heaven so we could all get in. Jesus didn’t come with a religious system, he came with himself as the message and what a message it is. He said that the first would be last and if we wanted to see the Kingdom of Heaven we have to enter through the door of humility.

Advent is an opportunity to step inside the Big Story of Jesus, to give up the rights to our own lives, commit ourselves to following him and receive his peace.

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