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I’ve had my church home group hard at work for months now, working through a series of studies on the book of Acts. We are only up to chapter 18 so there is more to go but I like to find something different to do during the season of Advent and this year my inspiration is lists.

This is a time of year when we can get enveloped in lists. Christmas cards to send, presents to buy, food to order. I decided to subvert listitis by turning it into a game. Armed with scrap paper and pens, I suggested topics and invited each person to respond by writing a list. We then went round, sharing what we’d put, with a nominal point (but no prizes!) for each thing shared with at least one other person. Lists for the evening included five bits of Christmas muzak you expect to hear when out shopping (eg. White Christmas or All I Want for Christmas is You), five things you get in Christmas crackers (including hats, bad jokes and a bang!) and, touching a little more on the spiritual side of the season, five Bible passages you are looking forward to hearing (there is a fairly small collection, given the size of the Bible, but that does include prophecies from way back in the Old Testament as well as the first couple of chapters of Matthew and Luke and the glorious “Johannine Prologue”).

The aim was not really about winning points or creating lists. What it did, and quite well, was to create a discussion starter, an opportunity to hear and be heard. That is where the silly game starts to transform into something more meaningful and appropriate for this season of preparing ourselves for the celebration of Christmas.

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