Sometimes it can seem like the world is full of acronyms, abbreviations formed from the initial letters of words. For example, NASA , standing for ‘National Aeronautics & Space Administration.’ Church/Christian life has no shortage of acronyms either. PUSH – Pray until something happens. FROG – Forever rely on God. WWJD – What would Jesus do? Acronyms are effective because they are brief and memorable. What does this have to say to us as we enter the season of Advent and approach the celebration of Christmas? The Incarnation is an awesome and memorable summary of God’s love for us. The arrival of the small, vulnerable Christ child has a massive impact, as Charles Wesley put it in the hymn ‘Let heaven and earth combine’:
‘Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made man.’ (STF 208)
So, perhaps the little things we do and say are more significant than we think. Perhaps this Advent, amidst all the wider confusions and uncertainties, it is time to refocus ourselves on the certainty of God’s light & grace and to ponder how we can reflect that light in small ways day by day (individually & as church communities).
To try to assist with this I have created my own acronym using the initial letters of the word ‘Advent’.
A Attentive- be attentive to the way’s God’s Spirit is nudging us, disturbing us, comforting us.
D Discover – discover something new (such as a new book/podcast/way to serve God)
V Voice – Speak out about situations of injustice.
E Eject – Eject the rubbish that may have crept in within your life; mentally, spiritually, physically.
Eject the things that get in the way of a positive relationship with God and neighbour.
N Nourish – Nourish yourself with things that will help you grow in your discipleship (such as
finding a rhythm of prayer that works for you today, reading the Scriptures, even singing carols
In the shower!)
T Time-wise – Be conscious about the way you use your time. Time is a precious gift. We would
do well to spend time wisely on ourselves, others and for God.
This Advent I invite you to join with me in following the above acronym and to appreciate Advent as a season to : be attentive, discover new things, voice discontent about injustice, eject the rubbish, nourish our souls, minds & hearts, be time-wise.