It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were thinking about Christmas season 2017. What a difference a year makes – this time last year I had no idea that I would be in Wrecclesham as Vicar – and how blessed I feel to be part of this lovely community ☺
I wonder what differences have been made to your lives these past twelve months? I imagine this year will have been a good one for some and sadly, not so good for others – life doesn’t always seem to deal a fair hand it has to be said. Prayers for comfort and strength go with all who are not looking forward to this time ‘of good cheer’ and the expectations that go with it…
If things are like that for you, reaching out to friends and caring people for fellowship and support can be helpful…. There is also St Peter’s Church -open every day and a special place for you to have a quiet moment or two – and I am also around to share a chat and a cuppa, and would be delighted to do so – feel free to give me a call (716431). Please don’t feel you have to journey in sadness alone…
And while we are being mindful of wider implications of this season – before the Christmas rush starts, perhaps it would be a good time to stop and reflect – not only upon our own lives and that of our families and communities, but also for the wider world in all its confusion and chaos and say a little prayer for peace and good will to all….
Advent – the time before Christmas – is just the time for reflecting and pondering, but it’s so easy to get lost in all the busyness of life and all the ‘Christmas season’ frenzy of shopping, rushing around, parties and preparing for Christmas Day, the day when the Christmas Season really does begin for the Church – by which time we are all thoroughly exhausted!
Seriously though, Advent really is a time to stop – it’s a time of waiting – of reflecting and yes, a time for preparing, but preparing for so much more than a fantastic party, or wonderful presents, or a delicious Christmas feast – even though these all have their place on our December wish lists for sure…
Advent is primarily a time for preparing our hearts so that we might become open to the wonder of what it is that we are actually waiting for – the coming of Jesus Christ – and if that doesn’t make sense to you, I invite you to think of it in your own spiritual way as ‘the coming of hope, of love, of peace, of joy – because for the Christian faith – Jesus represents all of those wonderful things…
All those comforting and uplifting Christmas-card words – hope, rejoicing, love, compassion, unity, faith, joy, peace – are all possible because we are waiting for that time when we can remember and relive the moment when new light shone into a darkened world.
You see, when you think about it, Jesus was born into a family story that one would hardly call ‘regular’ – and born into a world of poverty, injustice and conflict – and it was this world that he came into to mobilise a right
sense of human behaviour towards one another and to overturn all that did not stand for peace and loving kindness. Just like today – power struggles and corruption devastated people’s lives – refugees seeking a home, the poor seeking food, the despairing seeking hope – it’s all very much apparent today as it was back then. So what can we do to help you might be asking…
Well, in the words of a lovely carol*– we can give the goodness of our hearts. Yes, by giving the goodness of our heart, we can open the hearts of our home, our community and the world, one heart – and one prayer – at a time.
We can believe in the light, and we can wait – quietly, hopefully, trustingly – to receive that special child whose ‘government will be on his shoulders and who will be called ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God…Prince of
There is a list of the Advent/Christmas services in the magazine – please do come and join us if you are able, it would be lovely to see you….
In the meantime, from us all at St Peter’s, we hope and pray that your Advent journey be meaningful, and your Christmas one of happiness and hope, comfort and joy, peace and love….
With every Blessing, Jacqueline
*In the bleak mid-winter
frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone:
snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow,
in the bleak mid-winter,
Our God, heaven cannot hold him
nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away
when he comes to reign:
in the bleak mid-winter
a stable-place sufficed
the Lord God almighty,
What can I give him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man
I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him –
give my heart.
Read more clergy letters.