Advent is a time of expectation and preparation. The season embraces both a period of preparation for the coming of Christmas and the call to be ready for the final in-breaking of the kingdom in power as Christ comes again in glory as judge and king. There is a sense of joyful expectation: at last, the promises to Israel are about to be fulfilled in the coming of the Son of God into the world, and there is the great hope of the return of Christ to usher in the life of the world to come and complete the new creation. There is a sense of hope because in the darkness of sin a new light has dawned in Christ. And there is a sense of recollection: the coming of Christ was to lead us to repentance and into an experience of forgiveness, and he will come again as judge of the living and the dead.
We have some wonderful Advent hymns tomorrow:
26 Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding
32 O come, O come, Emmanuel – “What a splendid tune! But what obscure words!” In fact, the words express an intense longing for the coming of Christ, who is addressed by a number of Old Testament titles.
31. Lo, he comes with clouds descending. – Like all Wesley’s writings, the hymn is rich in biblical phraseology, most of it borrowed from the Book of Revelation.
The liturgical colour for Advent is violet or purple. This represents repentance and penance but Advent is not a mini Lent, and the use of purple indicates more the sense that God’s ultimate promises are awaiting fulfilment.
The first of our Advent Bible studies on Zoom will take place next Tuesday, 30th November at 19h00 and will last for one hour. We will be using Stephen Cottrell’s book “Walking Backwards to Christmas” this week focusing on Anna and Rachel. Each week we will be reflecting on any connections we can find between the readings and the 6 pastoral principles recently drawn up by the Church of England:
1. Acknowledge PREJUDICE
2. Speak into SILENCE
3. Address IGNORANCE
4. Cast out FEAR
5. Admit HYPOCRISY
6. Pay attention to POWER
Meeting ID 830 5345 8380
Movie Night – Saturday 11th December at 17h00 in Church. Details to follow.
Carol Service – Our traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held on Saturday 18th December at 14h00. Please tell your friends and bring them along.
Please note that my chaplain’s email address has changed slightly, and there is no longer a hyphen. The previous one can no longer be used. The new one can be found at the foot of this newsletter.
The past two years have seen our Church’s finances severely affected by the pandemic. We invite you to consider making a Christmas gift towards the work of our chaplaincy. Information can be found on the website.