The Minister writes

Dear All,

The children we know are longing for Christmas Day to come and now, their wait is almost over!  Yes, Christmas will soon be here - but ‘please not yet’ is the resounding cry of all those who still have much preparation to attend to!  So the children must wait a little longer. With hopeful anticipation, they must wait for Christmas Day to come.

Of course, Advent is all about waiting, anticipating and preparing for a wonderful day of celebration when as Christians, we rejoice in the arrival of the promised Saviour and Messiah, Jesus the Lord.  This spiritual insight will no doubt be exactly what my own impatient children would love to hear about! I must remember to share it with them!   

All joking aside, there is much in the intensity of a child’s anticipation that we trust God will cultivate within us over the next few weeks – it will (hopefully!) just have a different focus!

In Advent, Christians start a journey in expectation of the second coming of Jesus.  There is great hope surrounding a coming time when God has the ultimate final word and his triumph, his just, loving and redeeming rule and the reign of his Kingdom will be dynamically ‘unwrapped’ before a watching world. 

In Advent, we long for the coming of the Saviour at Bethlehem and at the second coming.  We long for Christ to come to us again.  We long for all that is cold and dying within our own walk with Christ to be transformed.  We long for Christ to break in on us with new life.  ‘Please not yet’ might once more be our cry – But dear friends, we have much preparation to do.  Here is an opportunity for us to identify where we are held back in our own discipleship and where we need Christ’s redeeming touch.  Here is an opportunity for repentance.  And here our song might be ‘O come, O come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel.’  ‘Lord’ we pray, ‘come and redeem us, come and renew us once again.’  

And then the Day comes – Praise God!  As ever, everything is somehow prepared and ready.  The presents will (we trust!) bring great joy to the children we know and love.  And the celebration is ‘full on!’  We rejoice!  But not only have these gifts arrived!  ‘There is born to us this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.’  We greatly rejoice as once again Christ breaks into our lives, bringing his gracious gifts of grace, redemption and renewal. I pray that these gifts will bring great joy to you and those you love this Christmas. 

I hope you have a great Christmas! 

Grace and peace,

   Andrew's signature