Take A Moment
Take a moment, this Christmas, to be.
In and around the manic rushing around of the ‘countdown’ to Christmas, we are encouraging you to take a series of moments - simply to be. To take a break from the preparation, shopping, cooking, wrapping, stressing, and juggling of calendars and relationships.
Christmas can be hectic, overwhelming and demanding. It can be a time of conflict as well as celebration. A time where special memories are made but also when painful ones are remembered. There is a lot of pressure around Christmas to meet the expectations of family, colleagues, society and even the supermarket. It can be an endurance test, always asking you to be one step ahead. Are you having the perfect Christmas? Have you got it sussed? Have you nailed it?
The rushing around and juggling around Christmas can seem like a world way away from that first Christmas, the ‘reason for the season’, but in fact the first Christmas wasn’t gentle, calm and restful. With its stresses, upheavals and logistics to negotiate, it was probably a lot closer to our 21st Century Christmas than it would first appear.
The young couple, Joseph and Mary, were what we’d call today ‘internally displaced people’ who were having to confront the reality of childbirth on the move. They were victims of the arbitrary actions of a distant and unaccountable political regime. They were like many young people throughout history and around the world to the present day. They had to struggle with dangerous travel, temporary shelter, and persistent hunger… while at the same time getting to grips with parenthood.
But there would have been many moments. Moments when Mary stopped and placed a fluttering hand on her expanding belly. Or when Joseph would have drawn the hair out of her eyes and kissed her forehead. Moments when they caught the glinting eyes of their newborn son. Moments where they could - simply be.
So this Advent, in amongst all the hurly-burly of Christmas, Sanctuary First is not going to ask you pretend that this is a laid back, chilled out time or tell you that if you haven’t passed the test you’ve failed Christmas. Instead we are going to give you a series of opportunities to take a moment here and there to stop and breathe. Food is something that often reminds us to stop, to interrupt what we are doing and take a moment. Throughout the Bible food plays and important role, both practically and symbolically, so as we encourage you to take a moment, we’ll return to food as a way of stopping to take a breather. We are also partnering with CrossReach and Christian Aid Scotland who we will be taking a moment with each week.
28 days. 28 moments. 28 triggers to think on, act on, and pray on, before carrying on again. There’s no pressure, just opportunities to take a moment to contemplate joy, glory, peace, and love.
Each week contains 7 Bible references. Several from Lectionary + additional readings relating to the sub theme.