Isaiah 9:6 (NRSV)
6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
I write this article in the middle of November. Yesterday I saw my first Christmas Tree up, and I was greeted with the John Lewis advert on social media. Does this mean the race towards Christmas has now begun, and as if we weren’t busy enough, we have a general election coming up as well?
In our increasingly secular society, we seem to cling tighter and tighter to the feast of Christmas. Up and down the country the story of the birth of Jesus Christ will be told, sung and depicted in nativity plays and scenes.
Could it be in the midst of a climate emergency, a deeply divided country, a time of post truth, fake news, we are longing to cling to this ancient story of hope. A story of a just ruler who would bring equity and a new kingdom reign that is free of war and strife. This hope stopped the guns in the first world war. I am sure like me there are moments when watching a nativity play, looking at a Crib Set or in singing a carol that you glimpse something of this other kingdom. The Kingdom of God where Jesus the Christ Child will rule with wisdom, justice, and power to liberate the discarded of society. A kingdom that rather than waging wars of violence brings peace.
The season that leads up to Christmas is known as Advent, (yes where the calendars come from). Advent means the “arrival” it is in fact a penitential season in the church like Lent where we begin the church year, reflecting, longing and waiting for not just the first coming of Christ at Christmas but also the second coming of Christ. Advent was traditionally a time of fasting and preparation for the twelve days of feasting at Christmas. At All Saints and St Edmunds Church we will be having special services around the theme of the longing and waiting of Advent. At All Saints Church each Tuesday- Friday at 9:00 AM and 4:30 pm we will have prayers. We want to create a space for quiet reflection, hope, meditation, and silence, in the midst of the chaos of Christmas, (and election) mayhem. Our services on a Sunday at 8:00 AM at All Saints, 9:30AM at All Saints and 11:00 at St Edmunds are open to all as well. If like me you are longing for a better world, a better way of living, some peace, then come and join us. Come and let the ancient story of hope and love flood your soul again. Come and be silent, and glimpse that in the midst of what seems at times a world gone mad.
We can recover hope, unity, and the desire to not just to save this planet but make a better world through the Kingship of Jesus in our lives.
For Details of our Christmas Services CLICK HERE
Brother Alasdair CFC , Rector