Pastor’s Blog December 2018

Christmas is approaching rapidly. We are in the season of Advent, which marks the beginning of the Christian Year. In truly liturgical churches, Christmas Carols should not be sung until after midnight on Christmas Eve. Christmas starts on Christmas Day.

Advent is a misunderstood season, it can easily become simply a preparation for Christmas and all its festivities. However in Advent we are to look beyond the first coming of Christ to his second advent, his coming in glory and bringing in his final reign of justice and righteousness. This is an important message for us to remember.

I have so many wonderful happy memories of Christmas, both as a child and as an adult. Christmas is a happy time for me. But for many people Christmas can be the most difficult and lonely time of the year. There will be many who are dreading Christmas and who find no comfort in the messages our world sends out at this time of the year.

The message of Advent is that our hope does not finally rest in this world but in the next. God has come into our world in his son Jesus, he has lived among us, ministered among us, died for us, has been raised to life and is now exalted at God’s right hand. By faith in him we can have a new life that begins in the here and now but will only be experienced in all its fullness when Jesus returns bringing Heaven to Earth and renewing all things.

Advent reminds us to live with two horizons. The first is to live faithfully in the present moment, loving God and one another. The second is to live with our eyes and hearts firmly fixed on the glorious future that is ours in Jesus Christ and with the empowering of the Holy Spirit to bring as much of the future into the present in order that God may be glorified.

In Advent then we are encouraged to wait with expectant faith for the second coming of Christ.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Ps. 27:13&14.

Phil Dixon