It’s time to reflect on the Christmas story

St Leonard's Church, Bonnyrigg
St Leonard's Church, Bonnyrigg

The future of Britain looks uncertain; there is unrest as governments and leaders change.

There is fear of wars breaking out, while dictators in power force thousands of people out of their homes, abandoning them to walk and take shelter wherever they can find it; young and old, the bereaved and the pregnant, walking the road looking for food and a safe place to rest. Who will welcome them in?

You would be excused for thinking this was a summary of today’s events however, 2,000 years ago Mary and Joseph of Nazareth were forced along with many others to leave their home and embark on a journey.

Then as now, people were looking out for new leadership, a new light for the way and new hope for the journey.

Soon a star would appear, but unlike other leaders who use muscle and might, riches and derision to worm their way into office, this leader would grow up to walk the pathway of justice and peace.

With compassion, love and self-sacrifice he would lead by example and called his followers to do the same.

So as 2016 draws to a close we prepare once more to mark this extra-ordinary leader’s birth. This time of preparation is known as Advent.

What is Advent? Advent comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’ meaning arrival. Within the Christian tradition it is a time of contemplation and preparation for the arrival of Christmas, and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Advent is also about looking forward to welcoming this new leader’s eternal governance.

With so much bad news in the world it is encouraging to remember that Christmas is a good news story. It reminds us that there is another way for humanity.

There is a good leader whose example we can all follow regardless of our faith position.

So in this season of Advent let us reflect again on the Christmas story and the arrival of this extra-ordinary leader and ask yourself, “What kind of leader would you like to follow? Whose example should you mirror?”