The Chaplain's Log: Negotiating the Turbo-charged Travelator

Saturday 19th November 2022

The school campus has a curious feel at the moment.

On the surface it seems pretty quiet but beneath the appearance there are lots of people working very hard and a whole range of end-of-year responsibilities.  This is very much in keeping with the season, but combined with a number of other seasonal expectations it can lead to a turbo-charged ride on the Christmas-themed travelator.  Sometimes we are not even sure we meant to get on!  Yet the end of the year here in Aotearoa is packed with work responsibilities, social events, planning for the slice of summer we are yearning for, and a real mixture of hope and anxiety around festive plans and financial strains.  

For these reasons the Christian tradition has long practiced Advent, both as preparation for Christmas and as a call to alertness.  Advent itself is much more than a calendar which counts down to the big event.  It is a chance to discern what is really important as commerce and sentimentality fill our attention with fluff, distraction and opportunities for indulgence.  At school in the last few weeks we have considered how Advent is an opportunity to hope, to re-focus our attention, to practice patience, to consider the discipline of waiting and to prepare our hearts.  Advent highlights hope and faith in God's supreme gift of Jesus.  I pray you appreciate quality celebrations this year's end and at the same time experience how the justice, love and peace of Christ might work in and through us all this Christmas.