Comment by Harborough churches: Advent already! Where has this year gone?

Every week the Harborough churches write fo the Harborough Mail. This week it is the turn of Dawn O’Connell, families development worker in the Harborough Anglican Team

Dawn OConnell,families development worker in the Harborough Anglican Team
Dawn OConnell,families development worker in the Harborough Anglican Team

Viewpoint by Dawn O’Connell, families development worker in the Harborough Anglican Team

Advent already! Where has this year gone?

Each year as we get closer to Christmas, I find myself saying this. Christmas seems to creep up on us and before you know it buying presents, sending cards, putting up the Christmas tree and planning family celebrations fill my mind.

This year is no different. Covid has not taken away my Christmas ambitions. It may look different and my expectations may be different but that longing to be with those I love is intensified. It has become so much more important. We have had a new addition to our family. Three-week-old Amelia arrived in the world and her and others born this year may well be known as Covid babies. She is oblivious to the pandemic that surrounds her and is as cute and adorable as all babies.

I imagine we are like the shepherds on that first Christmas day journeying to meet her face to face. The miracle of birth and the joy of new life gives us a more hopeful perspective. Last year’s family Christmas photo includes two who are no longer with us and like many other families who have lost loved ones, we shall remember them whilst being uplifted by Amelia.

The Christmas story is about the birth of a baby and each year in our churches the doors are flung wide and filled with carol singing, nativity plays, Christingles and fayres as we celebrate. This year will be different and the heartache of not being open to the crowds who want to celebrate and remember the story of God, is a deep sadness. But, we will tell the story of God just like we have for millennia.

So, just as I have had to adjust my personal expectations for this Christmas so have our churches. About 40 of us of all ages have come together to produce a Nativity with a difference. Telling the story of God is in our blood and this year we will be telling it online, in rhyme. As with all good stories it is funny and full of surprises and at the end reveals the truth of Christmas; God is with us – everywhere.

God’s story can be told in our churches and our homes, our schools and our town, anywhere we might be, God is with us. So may you be blessed this Christmas wherever you may be, knowing that God is near. The Nativity will be available to watch online after December 13 via the Harborough Anglican Team website (https://www.harborough-anglican.org.uk/).

Dawn O’Connell is the families development worker in the Harborough Anglican Team