by Archbishop Geoff Smith
The season of Advent began on December 2 and continues until Christmas. The four Sundays in Advent are opportunities for us to prepare to celebrate the coming, or the advent of Jesus as one of us, a baby born in Bethlehem 2000 or so years ago.
One thing Christmas is about is gift giving and receiving. It may be the case that the gifts we receive are really important and valuable to us. But there is one gift which is absolutely important- the gift of Jesus himself.
While the gifts we receive from friends and family may be important and appreciated (and if we didn’t receive them, we might be the poorer), it’s worth thinking through what life would be like if the gift of Jesus hadn’t been given to us.
If Jesus hadn’t come, we would not have the knowledge of God that we do through Jesus, or the opportunity to actually know God, as we do now.
We would not have the opportunity for the forgiveness of our sins that we do through the death of Jesus.
Death would not have been defeated as it has been through the resurrection of Jesus. The kingdom of God would not be close as it is through the ministry of Jesus.
We may well not have the concept of charity as we do, shown by Jesus.
The list could go on and on, what we would not have if Jesus hadn’t come.
Jesus and his ministry, his teaching and preaching, his life and death and resurrection have changed the face of the world for the better and continue to make a really positive contribution.
In the midst of the gift-giving and receiving this Christmas, let’s make sure we don’t miss out on receiving the most important gift- Jesus himself!
He is a gift that has changed lives for 2000 years and looks forward to continuing to change our lives and the lives of our family and friends and communities both this Christmas and all the Christmases to come.