I was in London on that last Friday in November which seems, recently, to have become known as Black Friday; thankfully I was not shopping although in the main shopping area. I felt a bit sad about it as I normally quite like the buzz and the lights in London before Christmas but it was so busy. I was pondering on what Black Friday meant as I hadn’t heard of it before and I discovered it comes from the financial term of being in the ‘black’ ie in credit as opposed to being in the ‘red’, in debt. The retailers are trying to make a profit to be ‘in the black’
We are now in Advent, the time when Christians think about the coming of Jesus and are encouraged by church leaders to check that they are ready should the time of His return be today. I was thinking of the advent calendars that I had as a child. They weren’t about the second coming but about the birth of Jesus, but at least they were about Jesus. The little windows were hiding pictures relating to the nativity and we all knew that the last window would have the baby Jesus behind it. Now it is hard to find one with a nativity scene on it; they are all about the latest superhero or television character. They are usually hiding chocolate and I even heard that there is one that has a miniature bottle of whiskey or gin behind every window.
How does any of this help us to think about the coming of Jesus whether it be for the first or second time? There was certainly no sense in London on that Friday that the people, who were battling into the shops and standing in long queues, were at all concerned about the possibility that Jesus might return today.
The verses for today, which were originally written by Isaiah and are quoted several times in the New Testament, assure us that Jesus most certainly will return and when He does everyone will have to acknowledge Him.
Christmas and Advent may well have been hijacked, to a large extent. The enemy’s strategy is to distract as many as possible from the truth of what they are all about but as God’s people lets us resolve not to be distracted.
Prayer: Dear Father help us to keep our eyes fixed on our Lord Jesus Christ this Advent and Christmas and may the joy of knowing Him flow out from us to those who have been caught up in the deception. Amen.
"For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God."
Romans14 v11-12, NLT
Dotty Cockcroft is on the associate ministry and teaching teams at Glyndley Manor where she has been involved for about 20 years. She is married with 3 grown up children and 3 gorgeous grandchildren and works as a Practice Nurse. She passionately believes God wants us to move into His healing and wholeness.
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