This is the first Sunday in Advent, which means it is four weeks until Christmas. I have always felt that Advent (which means “coming”) is one of the most compelling ideas in the church calendar, as it encourages us to re-live the anticipation of those who faithfully waited for the coming of the Messiah. Luke’s gospel tells us that in the lead-up to Jesus’ birth, there were people “looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (2:38). These were the faithful ones, who believed the promises which God had made through the prophets, and who were patiently waiting for the day when God would fulfil those promises. They waited for centuries. Many would have died still waiting. But that is OK, because they died confident that God would act in his own time. Imagine the excitement of old Simeon and Anna, who were granted to see the infant Messiah before they died (Luke 2:25-38).
Advent is a re-living of their anticipation, for example as we sing the Advent hymn, “O come, O come Emmanuel”. In fact, the whole Christian life is an experience of anticipation. For all Christians have “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven … Jesus” (1 Thess. 1:10). We are waiting for Jesus’ return, and we must be living as though he might return at any time.
- Carols and Christmas Market is in two weeks, on Sunday 11th December at 3 pm. This will be a true “all ages” event. Please plan to come, to help, and to invite a friend.
- All of our Christmas services will very soon follow. Christmas postcards will be available in the porch soon.
- The Working Bee on Saturday 3rd Dec is my favourite of the year, as we are setting up the nativity scene and getting ready for Christmas. Work starts at 8.30 am.