View from the Vicarage

My children have never been able to understand how, as a child, I found such delight in each years' Advent Calendar. Unlike theirs, bought by their grandma, mine had not contained small chocolates behind each window, simply a colourful picture each day. I loved opening a new window each morning, and was particularly curious as to what would be the picture on my birthday.

I am sure that I got more innate pleasure from my calendars than my sons did from theirs, despite their tasty morsels. In later years we tried other things; a reusable calendar where we placed a small sweet treat along with a line from the Christmas Story. But for me, nothing ever outshone those little cardboard doors with their pictures of a bell, a sheep, a donkey, then, finally, on 24th, the Holy Family in the stable. Each morning picture was a growth in excitement, a day closer to Christmas Day, which carried with it a spirit of otherness, of something unfathomable yet which wrapped me as closely round as a blanket. God with us.

It is, perhaps, all down to our expectations. What I expected from my little calendar was a visual aid to the growth in nearness of the Day which, every year, changes everything because, after the birth of God in Jesus, nothing can ever be the same again.

Whatever your advent countdown consists of, I pray that your expectations will prepare you once more for that magnificent meeting between you and the baby who is your saving grace.

Your friend and servant, Debra

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