Click here to view the Advent Sunday Service on 29th November from 10:30am led by Deacon Keith and Mrs Margaret Gough. The key reading set for today is Mark 13:24-37 and if you want to read the address, click here.
Click here to join the 'Live ZOOM Service' with Mr Andrew Barraclough and Mr Stephen Byass on Sunday 29th November at 6pm prompt. Leading up to Christmas we will be following the book 'A Strange Christmas' by Krish Kandiah.
Meeting ID: 861 0815 4849
The Countdown Begins!
As I write this, Christmas Day is just over 5 weeks away and so even in these very different times we begin to see signs of the approaching celebrations as the countdown begins; as Christmas adverts appear; as 'Christmas food' is in stock; and as lights and Christmas trees begin to make their annual appearance.
In more usual times I would also be noting when I attend my first 'Christmas' event and eat my first mince pie!
As we do every year, by necessity we are making our plans for celebrating Christmas as worshipping communities and personally as families and friends but made all more than a little difficult in these challenging times as we don't as yet know what will be possible.
It is right that we make our practical preparations but if we are not careful we are in danger of missing the spiritual preparation within the church seasons — the season of Advent — that period of watching and waiting in hope and expectation. It is the season when we are again encouraged to reflect on Christ's first coming as the child born in Bethlehem, his coming to our hearts and lives each day and his final coming as Lord of all.
It is a difficult season to keep when many want to start Christmas the day after Remembrance Sunday! Perhaps more than ever this year, we need to look to the hope which the season encourages us to expect, as Advent quietly insists that there is something worth waiting for. It tells us that our hope is not some hollow empty promise and that as surely as God came to those people in a stable in Bethlehem, so he will and does come to us. We can wait and prepare with hope and confidence.
Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory. (v. 27)