The Nene Crossings Benefice

Rev'd. Pauline writes...............

                                                   The Christmas Journey

Visiting 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 doctor.

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       

                                                                             Rev’d. Pauline