The Christmas Journey
our local schools I am already hearing the words “I can’t wait for Christmas …..”
We spend a great deal of our time waiting
– waiting at the supermarket checkout: waiting to catch a train: waiting for examination results: waiting to see the
We begin the Christian season
of Advent this weekend a time during which we aim to prepare ourselves for the coming Christ child. Just as children use an
Advent Calendar as a countdown to the special day, each of our churches has an Advent Ring, comprising four candles around
a central white candle. The white candle symbolises Jesus the light of the world. The four candles are traditionally
associated with biblical characters who all experienced very different kinds of waiting: Abraham and Sarah waited a lifetime
for the fulfilment of God’s promise to them, a beloved child: the prophets both longed for and feared
God’s intervention: John the Baptist whose ministry marked the end of the old era and awaited the new: and Mary whose
life was shaped by waiting and by events beyond her control.
Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. We wait during Advent for the birth of Jesus. We wait
after Easter for the coming of the Spirit, and after the Ascension of Jesus we wait for his coming again in glory.
Waiting for God is an active,
alert – yes, joyful – waiting. As we wait we remember
him for whom we are waiting, and as we remember him we create a community ready to welcome him when he comes.
Christmas for many, is a busy time of year filled
with exciting events, parties, carol services, school nativity
concerts, and celebrations with families and friends. For others, Christmas can be a lonely time shaped by sadness and memories.
This edition of Outlook contains information about many of our Christmas Services – they are diverse and, I hope, helpful
in enabling us all to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Our four churches are waiting to welcome you, my
prayer for us all this Christmastide is that we retain the wonder
of the gift of Jesus, not only in the midst of the seasonal celebrations, but also once back into our every day ordinary routines.
Wishing you a most joyous Christmastime