Thought for the Week

By Reverend James McNay, West Kilbride Parish Church

I wonder – have you seen any yet?

I’m talking about Christmas trees!

It used to be the unwritten rule that you didn’t put any Christmas decorations up before December. But I have noticed that in recent years that decorations have been going up earlier and earlier. Some were up in early November – maybe you were one of those people who put them up early!

And it is not the only thing that has been happening. There was an article I read this week that according to Spotify and other streaming services people are listening to Christmas music earlier than ever and certainly well before December. Indeed, Magic Radio, which runs a station with exclusively Christmas music started it in August this year – because they believed that there was a demand for it!

Why have these things been happening earlier this year?

Well, after the year that we have had, is it any wonder that people want to put up their decorations and have some Christmas cheer – and all the more as the nights draw in?

People are looking for hope – something to look forward to.

Hope is a really important thing to keep up going. Viktor Frankl was a holocaust survivor and wrote the best selling book ‘Man’s search for meaning’.

In that book, Frankl noted that in the concentration camps in the war, they always knew when people had given up hope. Because instead of exchanging their tobacco for food, they simply smoked the tobacco. They had given up hope.

In our lives, we all need hope – something to keep us going. Christianity is all about hope.

Sunday coming (29th November) marks the beginning of Advent when Christians begin to prepare themselves for Christmas and the coming of Jesus. At Christmas, we remember Jesus coming into the world – the light of the world shining in the darkness. He came to give us hope.

At this time, we need the hope he brings more than ever.