This month’s letter from the clergy
Advent is here!As you receive this copy of the magazine we are just entering the season of Advent, we can easily forget this short four week season so swamped as it is with all that is labelled Christmas. Advent means coming, and it signifies, the coming of this years celebration of Christmas, the coming of God in Jesus, born to earthly parents, fully human yet fully divine and the coming again of Jesus to finally bring about ultimate peace in God’s world. He will come as ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords and every eye will see Him’.All three comings are important to remember each year and to be prepared for. We each prepare differently and we all have our favourite cultural trimmings of the Christmas season. I am still a great lover of the Boxing Day cold turkey and bubble and squeak! Over the years I have collected many hangings for the Christmas tree from the various places I have travelled and hanging them each year bring backs the memories. Enjoy the family tradition that you hold dear again this year. Preparing for the meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus again invites us to consider our faith in this turbulent world. Having a moment to ponder in the busyness, consider attending a carol service or Christmas eve service, be bold and read the actual account of Jesus’ birth from the Bible itself. Consider the human responses of those involved in the birth of Jesus from Mary’s ‘I will’, to the Innkeepers ‘no room for you’, from the shepherds inquiring visit to the stable and the wisemen’s certainty they would discover a King. Where does your faith lie this year?Finally, prepare for the return of Jesus to this world, for there can be no one who reads this who does not long for peace for all nations, and a ceasing of hatred. How can we prepare for such an event we start by simply loving our neighbour, and accepting all those who are different to us, and at this advent time be generous, not only to our own families and friends, but to someone who is in need.May the advent season bring you all much love, peace and joy in preparing for Christmas 2023 and as this magazine goes over into January may 2024 be a stepping stone for us all in developing our faiths and strengthening our communities.With love Reverend Louise Brown.