The last word in the Advent Word calendar is 'believe'.

If you google the word 'believe'in a search for images, you will come across a lot of phrases like, 'believe in yourself', 'believe you can do it', 'believe you can succeed'. Many such phrases can be useful, for example in encouraging someone who is lacking in confidence to keep on trying to do something. But they ignore the great need of individuals and communities to believe in something beyond ourselves, to commit to something or someone greater, to turn outwards rather than inwards to our own selfish concerns.

It's the last day of Advent and also this year it is Christmas Eve. Christians are celebrating the birth of a baby something over 2000 years ago. I believe that God gave Jesus out of love for the world and all the people in it. Our family crib scene has a manger in the shape of a cruciform coffin. The baby Jesus lies on that piece of wood, a reminder that Jesus came to give his life for the sins of the whole world.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, 
so that everyone who believes in him many not perish but may have eternal life."