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St. David’s Church,  Broom Leys

“Out of the believer’s heart shall flow streams of living water”

‘Growing in Christ, living in faith’

Vicar - Revd. Andrew Rhoades

01530 834210

Hall Bookings 01530 451776

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Message for December 2018/January 2019

Our Advent Journey

What does Advent mean to you? Perhaps many would say it is a time to give an Advent calendar, or put up an Advent calendar.

These are normally calendars that start at December 1st and finish at December 25th, Christmas Day. They are there to prepare us to understand the Christmas story of Jesus being born to Mary. However, it is rare to find one of these calendars these days. The Real Advent calendar is probably the closest and is available in some supermarkets or online.

The Advent calendars today come in all sorts of varieties from chocolate and toys for children to those for adults ranging from gin, beer and wine advent calendars to luxury brands with a surprise treat for each day. They are commercial calendars designed to give us a daily treat in the countdown to a commercial Christmas.

Our Advent journey however is about seeing the light of Christ coming into the darkness of our lives at the darkest time of the year. We hold those two events in our mind. The child born to Mary in a stable, as God comes to live with us as the baby Jesus Christ. His birth brings the light and love of God into lives that are stressful, messy, average, in poverty, in turmoil and oppression and brings purpose, hope, joy and peace and well-being as God’s kingdom breaks into our world.

Then we hold in our mind the promise that Jesus will come again into our world and bring the fulfilment of God’s kingdom and the grace and judgement that go with it.

Sandwiched in between these two events, the one that has been and the one that is to come, is the cross. The website “Christmas starts with Christ” puts it like this:

“A birth in humble, even marginalised circumstances. Early boyhood as a refugee. A roller-coaster 3-year ministry featuring radical new teaching, mind-blowing miracles, compelling stories and the careful nurturing and role-modelling of his closest followers, culminating in the ultimate self-sacrifice. Willingly following a path from adulation and superstardom to betrayal, torture and execution in the course of a single week. Followed by a miraculous, hope-inspiring and life-instilling resurrection. A triumph of light and life over darkness and death that gives the promise of eternal hope to us all."

Without the crib, there is no cross, and without the cross there is no hope and no peace and no light in the darkness.

May your celebrations with family and friends be wonderful and life giving and may your Advent journey prepare you to meet Christ and the hope and light he will be to your life this Christmas, as God says to you ‘peace be with you’.

Reverend Andrew Rhoades