Today is the first day of one of the sections of the Church’s calendar..Advent Sunday, and was traditionally when we start talking of, and preparing for, Christmas. One of our great Carols, ‘O Come all ye Faithful’, has a final verse ‘Yea, Lord we Greet Thee’, which we do not sing until Christmas morning. So we are prepared to wait.
The world is somewhat different however. We don’t need to wait until the end of the month to buy something- we can always borrow money, Seasons all run into each other, Sales are an all-year event, holidays away are occurring most weekends during the year, international sports events can be seen on TV at any time, central heating has meant that we can keep warm right through winter (money permitting), and the idea of ‘seasonal’ fruit and vegetables doesn’t exist now.
So we seem to have lost the ‘order of things’. I remember the song ‘The Green Leaves of Summer’ which told of the fact that there are specific times for living and dying, sowing and reaping etc. But we seem to have lost this concept. Do you remember in youth when the football would be put away and the cricket bat or tennis racquet would suddenly appear? But now we can see these sports on TV from any part of the world. The coming of indoor pitches also means that many sports can be played through the year. The mixed-up weather patterns has also meant that we have already had snow in November and birds have been migrating at different times.
Will we ever see see a return to a more ‘ordered’ system, or I am living some kind of dream which never really existed?
PS….for those, North of the Border, it is also St Andrew’s Day…Patron Saint of Scotland