I heard recently that, in the book section of a Costco the Holy Bible was for sale and the sticker-tag was labeled, “fiction.” Well, we are each entitled to our opinion. For me, I would like to see an additional label placed on Bibles: a parental advisory label. The Bible is, after all, filled with descriptions of mass murder, torture and… sex.
I encourage adults to read and study the Bible frequently, but it is appropriate to study it in groups too. Together we can delve more deeply into the Greatest Story Ever Told, working through the nasty bits so that the true glory of God is revealed. This is the kind of study that deepens our faith and propels us along a journey of faith.
Blue is the colour we now associate with Advent. The Church used to be decorated in purple but now we favor blue. The reason for this change is to distinguish between Advent and Lent. Both are penitential seasons: times when we reflect on the pain and suffering of Jesus and our own need for repentance, but, not so much so in Advent as in Lent. So, Advent is lighter than Lent and blue is lighter than purple.
On the Sunday’s leading up to Christmas, we hear the Baptist cry to repent in preparation for the coming Messiah. Advent is a season of preparation. Partly, we prepare for Christmas itself, but more importantly we prepare for the birth of Jesus in our hearts, in our lives today. There is nothing fictional about the birth of Jesus in our hearts, and there’s no need to wait for the 25th. Jesus can be born in our hearts daily and transform our lives daily. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving and we have God to thank.