Parish Letter

December 2021

Advent is here! Amazing as it seems we are now celebrating Advent, and Christmas is just around the corner. I do hope and pray that you are all well and those of you who have been battling the corona virus and the ‘supercold’ virus are all feeling well and able to crack on with the preparations for celebrations.

Advent is the season for preparation. We prepare for the coming of Christ. We prepare for the Christmas services, and celebrations but we also prepare for the second coming. We remember that our faith tells us that the Lord will come again as judge at the end time. We are challenged to consider our own mortality and the theme of divine judgement runs all through the advent lessons.

It is not fashionable to speak of hellfire and damnation but for those who believe in Jesus Christ as saviour the negative opposite does exist. We hope and pray for the salvation of the whole of creation and all people, but we acknowledge the existence of evil in our world. Jesus came to bring light into the darkness. The light of Christ shines and reveals all the secrets of our hearts. We are invited to take time during the season of advent to consider our own lives. Few of us would claim to be perfect and advent is the time to take a serious look at our faults and to seek to change. We ask God for forgiveness, and we try to do better.

Jesus called us to fullness of life. He encouraged joy and laughter, he promoted love and kindness towards all people. He taught us to turn away from anger and violence, to reject greed and jealousy. We are encouraged as Christians to be generous and supportive of others without thought for ourselves. As we prepare for Christmas, we remember those less fortunate than ourselves. We remember those who are suffering economic hardship or are trapped in the darkness of grief after these terrible years of too much death and disease. We pray for God’s comfort and support for them. We pray for guidance in our lives that we may serve God by serving others, we ask that we be helped to identify what we can do to build God’s Kingdom here on earth in practical, hands-on ways. Who can we help? Where can we be of use to others? How can our church community show that we want to share God’s love with the villages in which we are set? We have these beautiful buildings and many gifted and talented people, the question is, in what ways can we use them to promote love, joy, kindness, health and happiness in our communities?

May the light of Christ shine in your hearts and minds and make you ready to meet him when he comes in glory. May we be steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and constant in love. I wish you a hopeful and fruitful Advent and a Happy Christmas.

God be with you, Suzy

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