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It is so hard to believe that December is upon us, and very soon, Christmas. In the church’s calendar December is the time of Advent. The colour is purple, to remind us it is a penitential season. During Advent we reflect on the certainty of the coming of Jesus to judge the living and the dead. It is not, as many believe, preparation for Christmas!!! The reason Advent is put alongside Christmas is to remind us that just as Jesus came once, as a babe in a manger, so he will surely come again. However, this time it will not be as a helpless child in a backwater town at night, it will be obvious to the whole world and he will come again in power and authority.
So, Advent is a good time to reflect on where we are at in our relationship with Jesus. If he was to come today, would we be ready to meet with him? If not, what do we need to do to get ready? These are some of the reflections that might helpful for us in this time of Advent.
Yet, while the church, in Advent, might not be getting ready for Christmas, the rest of the world is. There are presents to buy, food to purchase, etc, etc. The question I have in all of this, is simply this, does all this frenetic pace bring you joy and peace and happiness? It will certainly bring about pressure on credit card debt, and other anxieties. Yet the message of Christmas is that God so loved the world that he gave the world his only Son to be born as one of us, to share our common life, and to show an alternative way of living to the prevailing wisdom of the day.
Here at St. Johns we are trying very hard to explore how that works in practical ways, so that our lives might be lived more fully, be enriching not just to us, but to others as well, and to seek to live lives that honours God, and His creation. I do hope that you might come by and worship with us during this very important time in the life of the church.
May the blessings of Advent be on you,
written by our former Rector, Father Bill Weston
God our Father, send your Holy Spirit upon the people of this parish. Give us a greater love for all. Make us more compassionate for the sick, the lonely and all in need, more zealous in the inspiration of the young, more concerned about the wider mission of the Church and more generous in our giving of service and money. Help each one of us to know what we ought to do and give us strength and courage faithfully to do it, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen