Advent wreaths and crowns of thorns

I was clearing the table tonight for dinner, and I moved our advent wreath. I was careful not to get spiked by the drying-out holly – it seems to get sharper every day! One of the difficulties with Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is that the holly is sappy and soft when you pick it, and tends to die quickly, as well as having no berries! As I looked again at my spiky Advent wreath, it struck me how like a crown of thorns it is!

How very appropriate, I thought. So often Christmas is all about a dear wee baby in an unconventional bed, and these days the whole reason for Jesus’ birth in the world is glossed over – he came so he could die for our sins. It’s fitting then to have a spiky wreath  and to sing some of the older carols which tell the whole story of Jesus’ ministry on earth, and to think, “What does Christmas really mean to me?”

Is it just a nice family time? A chance to eat too much, drink too much, spend too much? Or is it a time to stop and think abut the big WHY of it all.

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