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... godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6.6

The attitude with which a person celebrates Advent is a litmus test of faith. For believers, it is a time of gratitude for what God has already given us, as we anticipate his return in glory to complete his redemption of the world, bringing heaven to earth and ushering in the New Creation. Unbelievers know nothing of this. Instead Advent is all about stirring up dissatisfaction, so we crave more and so we buy more and so we party harder and travel further - even though, year after year, bitter experience teaches that more is never enough!

In his first letter to his protégé, Timothy, the apostle Paul urges upon the young leader an attitude which would mark him out from his contemporaries: that integrity of attitude and lifestyle whose attractiveness lies in the refreshing alternative it offers to the desperation of life without God. If we consider Advent to be a time for preparation, let us begin by recognising how God has already provided everything which is ultimately necessary. Everything else is a bonus!



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