Minty’s December Letter

December’s here heralded by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, crowded shops crammed with goods to tempt the punters, supermarket advertisements luring us to buy their seasonal fare, lights switched on by celebrities, Advent calendars and candles, cards and stockings … all leading up to the big day everyone’s waiting for … Christmas!

December, the season of Advent, is a particular time of waiting for the Church, a time of expectant waiting. Advent means coming, arrival, beginning or initiation. During Advent we prepare to celebrate both the birth of Jesus and look forward to his coming again. With Jesus arrival we celebrate the initiation of God’s Kingdom, or rule on earth, being restored and we anticipate to this being brought to completion on his return. It is a season of hopefulness, looking to the time when God will live with his people and “there will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4Open Link in New Window). In the meantime, we wait and pray, “Maranatha—Our Lord, come” (1 Corinthians 16:22Open Link in New Window).

Waiting for something to happen can be hard and frustrating, but waiting in hope has long been familiar to God’s people: Abraham and Sarah waited till old age for their promised son; the Israelites waited 40 years to enter the promised land; and there was a 400 year wait between the last of the Old Testament prophets, Malachi, until the birth of Jesus, a seeming silence.

Our Advent sermon series invites us to think about waiting and about how sometimes God appears silent, or speaks or acts in unexpected ways. This comes at a time when we’re still awaiting the appointment of a new vicar. Things have not worked out as we expected. We continue waiting to see an answer to our hopes and prayers. Meanwhile life goes on. We go on being the church in this place seeking what God would do in and with us as we wait. While in the immediate future, as we journey together through Advent and Christmas, we can share that hope we carry within us with those around us, hope in Jesus Christ. Hope we celebrate as we remember his coming and all that this means for us, for all people and all creation.

I wish you all a very happy, joyful and hopeful Advent
and Christmas.

Minty

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