As it's Advent, the start of the Church's year, I've decided to modify the look of my blog. I haven't done it for ages. I thought this template was the prettiest.
Advent is a lovely season, a time of reflection as we await the coming of Jesus. Of course, it's a season that's been cheapened by the clamour to spend and over-consume. But it's possible to be aware of the presence of God even in the thick of the high street mob chasing pre-Christmas bargains.
He's there in the echo of the carol drifting from a shop, the wide-eyed wonder of a child pointing at the lights in the windows, the care taken to buy a loved one that one perfect gift.
This year we've joined the Advent Conspiracy, a movement that originates in the US that invites us to think about the meaning of Christmas and make how we spend, give and celebrate a function of our worship.
We kicked it off in church yesterday and I think it went down pretty well. Lots of people agreed but were left asking practical questions about how this might alter how we celebrate Christmas to bring it more into line with the values of Jesus. hopefully, we'll tease out some answers to those question in the coming couple of weeks.
I shall be using Maggi Dawn's Beginnings and Endings as my advent readings this year.
And over the next week, i shall be compiling my festive top ten of essential listening from this year's output of CDs. It's shaping up nicely.