Advent – By Revd. Jack McKelvey
Thank God for Advent. Advent is all about hope. It is about the coming of Christ. Not his second coming, but his many comings. The world is not closed to him. He comes again and again. This is what gives us hope. The rock- solid basis of our Christian faith is Christ’s becoming one of us, experiencing what we experience and worse, and succeeding by means of his death and resurrection. With his help we can be born again.
Think of what this means! It means that there is hope for us. It means we are worth saving. Most wonderful of all is the fact that God thinks we are worth saving. You wouldn’t think that from what the tabloids say about us – depicting us as greedy, selfish and lustful.
Advent (and Christmas) helps us to see the world differently. We will not be taken in by the make-believe world that the media creates for us, or that we create for ourselves. For example, we will be concerned about the effects of global warming and the plight of refugees, but not preoccupied and worried to the extent that we no longer think about the Advent hope.
Thank God for Advent and the hope it gives us. It is because of our faith as Christians that we expect to see signs of hope. It is because of our faith that we are able to identify things which are genuine signs of hope. It is our hope that makes us react to what is wrong and do what we can to put it right. In other words, our hope issues in action. How very important that is.
Unless our Christian faith issues in action it is not genuine faith. When Jesus saw the buying and selling that had turned God’s temple into a market place he immediately became involved; he took action; he cleansed the holy place. So in our case our Christian faith must result in action even if the action is simply writing a cheque for some good cause.
Advent is about hope, hope that turns into action. At Christmas many good causes appeal to us for help. What action will we take?
Prayer – By Revd. Ruth Dillon
December 19th Luke C1 vv 39-45
She entered the house of Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth ( verse 40)
It is not often we wait alone, whether we are waiting for buses, results or shopping, we wait and in our waiting we are surrounded by other people who are waiting with us, and conversations may easily flow.
Sometimes waiting can be anxious, as we nervously wait for hospital results or a diagnosis, and in those situations, conversations can be awkward and stilted, unsure of what to say to support someone.
Being aware of other people waiting with us, is part of our common humanity and part of our relationship with Jesus. Mary and Elizabeth were waiting for their expected infants to be born, but found joy and comfort in one another.
In our vulnerability in waiting with others may we recognise that God also waits silently with us.
God who waits silently with us,
Enable us to see our neighbours
Who are also waiting to be released from
Invisible bonds that confine them,
Invisible bonds that restrict them
Invisible bonds that oppress them.
For those who wait in fear and trepidation,
And others who wait in joy and expectation,
Surround us all with your nurturing and Holy Spirit.
Page updated on 30th Dec 2021.