Some Advent Thoughts

Well, December is upon us and the clamour and chaos of Christmas preparations grows ever louder, however allow me to ask you to tarry a moment to consider the season that we currently find ourselves in – Advent.

To be honest, I’d imagine that most Christians have little idea what this period of ‘Advent’ is actually about, let alone those outside the church – I certainly didn’t until I started attending an Anglican church more regularly. For the uninitiated, Advent is a season in the church calendar that lasts from the fourth Sunday before Christmas until Christmas Eve.  The name ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ which means ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’.  As such, the season has a twin focus – firstly on the first coming of Jesus that we celebrate at Christmas and secondly thinking ahead to Jesus’ Second Coming, which didn’t happen last year, despite the best efforts of Harold Camping to predict it thus.  If you’re looking for more detail about Advent, you can have a look here and here.  However, I don’t so much want to focus on the details of how we mark Advent, but to offer a few thoughts on why we should perhaps give it a bit more attention.

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Reflections on the ‘rapture’ that never was

It has taken me somewhat by surprise just how much media coverage 89-year-old Harold Camping has generated this week with his bold assertion that the ‘Rapture’ was due this Saturday at 6pm. On the one hand, it’s not that surprising as we all enjoy the occasional crackpot conspiracy theory and that’s especially true in the secular media when said crackpot is a religious nutjob to boot. When the prediction fails to materialise, cue the calls to steer clear of such ‘faith-headed’ thinking and stick to the safer waters of reason and science. Well, so tweeted Prof. Brian Cox earlier this evening anyway.

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