Someone asked recently, as we pondered the uniqueness of Christianity and the radical claims of Jesus in the Gospels: then how could someone believe in another religion? Why wouldn’t they come to accept Jesus and Christianity? Part of the answer lies in the fact that many people never reflect on why the believe what they believe. This is true also of many Christians. Many believers in Jesus could not tell you why they believe. They too would most likely say, “Well, this is what my family passed on to me..”
The other part of the answer lies in what Indira Gandhi said about Christianity. She said: “if all the Christians in India were like Mother Teresa, there would be not Hindus left in India. The challenge of Advent is precisely this – while the world flies head-long into an orgy of spending and self-indulgence, as Christians, we are called to give a different witness. There is nothing wrong with buying and exchanging gifts, nothing wrong with putting up decorations or lights. But is that all Christmas is about for us? Is Christ the center of our celebrations, or only a cultural remnant? Is this reflected in our personal lives and in our choices?
I encourage us all to use this time of Advent to prepare our hearts for the Coming of the Lord.