Posted: 04 December 2015

Advent: Christmas is just around the corner

In today's Advent calendar entry Caroline Spelman MP shares her joy in the Advent season. It's a joy that motivates her to look for opportunities to work for a better world.

I love Advent. The sheer anticipation of Christmas brings out the small child inside me. I love the special advent hymns, the making of the Advent crown and special Christmas baking. It’s all too easy to have the wonder and the innocence of childhood jaded by the modern day approach to Christmas; so I fight back. As Secretary of State I made Christmas biscuits for the reception desk at DEFRA.

This will be the first year I enter advent as the Second Church Estates Commissioner, the go-between for the Church and Parliament. I shall look back on a fascinating few months dealing with hot topics like church schools, migrants, tax credits and Sunday trading.  Hardly a day goes by when I’m not pressed into action talking to both types of ministers, secular and sacred to try and get the right outcome.  I hope in the business of it all I don’t lose sight of the essential message of Christmas that God came into the world as a vulnerable baby to reconcile us to himself because of our sin.

I was struck by a phrase that prompted me to try harder to reach those who don’t know Jesus yet: random acts of kindness. 

In this season of Advent we should look for opportunities to do these not to curry favour or look for something in return but just because this is the season of breath-taking sacrifice by our Father God to bring us back to Him.  I have been so touched in my life by the kindness of others.  People who shared my pain, took the trouble to ring, gave me something precious of themselves. It leads one to think why would someone do that? In turn that question leads one to thinking about their belief system, or maybe just stops someone from sinking into despair. So look for those opportunities! Just do it. For Christ’s sake let’s spread this good will to children, especially those who have suffered, such as the migrant children or the victims of family abuse.  Jesus said let the children come to him and we can show them the way, demonstrating we care.

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