Advent has arrived once more; a time of expectation and waiting! Advent, meaning ‘coming’, invites us to remember the coming of Jesus into the world, as a child, over 2000 years ago, and also Jesus’ second coming in the future. The ‘Christ will come again’ of our Eucharistic acclamation. This Church season encourages us to make times of stillness in the business, to think on these things; to remember what Christmas is really about: Jesus as the salvation of the world leading us into a new life.
I really enjoy the lighting of the Advent candles, both at church and at home as they mark the weeks leading up to Christmas. Until, finally, on Christmas day, we light Christ’s candle. The symbol of Christ as the light of the world is a very powerful one for me. In a world with such darkness it is a hope of renewal. And joy of joy, almost past believing, we as Christians are asked to respond to the Holy Spirit’s desire to work in our lives, to carry the light of Christ into the world. As we say ‘yes’ to God he begins to change us and we grow the fruits of the Spirit and share his Gospel message in word and deed. Wanting to want to respond is enough for a beginning!
Singing or listening to Carols, during this season, can be a glorious experience whether in a Cathedral or local church, as the words and music capture some of the great mystery. The great Alpha and Omega, becomes human in the form of a vulnerable child.
And all our Christmases, past and present collapse, briefly, into this moment as we revisit the child-like feelings of joy and wonder.
This Advent, Let us find stillness and space within ourselves where we can, once again, receive God’s amazing gift, his presence born in us and, with God’s grace, be his light and hope in this world.
Wishing you every blessing for this Holy Season
Licensed Lay Minister