WHAT a wonderful anticipatory phrase is “the coming of…”

The most special must be “the coming of the Lord”.

We know this as Advent, a season of preparation.

The period of waiting, wanting and hoping for the Lord seems faintly out of touch with our increasingly materialistic society.

Does this mean as Christians that we should go with the flow?

Traditionally there was a contrast between Advent and Christmas in a way which is hard to see now.

Advent has become a preparation season for Christmas rather than a penitential time. With all the carol services, school services and Christmas fayres, it is a very busy time.

It can easily become a mad, commercial, selfish festival devoid of any real meaning.

And yet, we still need to prepare ourselves in a spiritual way to receive Jesus, otherwise something very precious is lost.

In our hearts we long for the presence of the Lord, Jesus Christ, who comes to us in human form to save us from ourselves.

We embrace the richness that Advent has become but also spend some time making ourselves ready to receive Jesus afresh in our hearts.

MARK BINNEY Churches Together Evesham