OK, first some house-keeping things for this week.
- Men’s Conversation Group meets tonight (Monday) at 7 p.m. in the ladies parlour.
- On Wednesday Morning our playgroup runs from 9:30-11:30.
- In the evening on Wednesday we have our annual Advent Carol Festival here at the church starting at 7:30 p.m.. Come and sing and hear the sounds of the season as we begin Advent right.
- The Bible Study will continue this coming Sunday. Find the readings here.
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This week we have begun the glorious season of Advent. It is a time of waiting. It is a time of seeking. It is a time of preparing. You see, it’s not quite Christmas yet, and indeed, it won’t be until the evening of December 24th when we welcome the Christ-child among us. And so we take this season, these four weeks leading up to Christmas eve, to prepare ourselves for the inbreaking of the Holy into our lives.
Yesterday was the first Sunday of the four, and we lit a candle. This candle, the first of five (four Advent candles and one Christ candle), represents our beginning, and the way that we should begin any journey; it symbolized Hope. And if we think about it, that makes a lot of sense. Any time we start on a new path, or move forward into the unknown, there are a lot of feelings swimming around in our heads and our hearts. We feel apprehensive about what might or might not be down the road. We wonder about the way ahead, and the twists and turns that we might find as we go. But even amidst the fear and wonder, we only ever take the steps we do because of Hope.
We hope that if we are leaving or fleeing fear, that there is joy before us. We hope in those times of darkness that we can find light. We hope that we can build a better world, not just for us but for all.
Hope is a pretty powerful force in the universe, because it can inspire the oppressed to rise up; it can open the hearts and homes of those safe and secure to those seeking refuge; it drives us to embrace people being persecuted simply for being as they were created.
As we take the first tentative steps into the season of Advent, let us open wide our hearts and let the light of Hope that shines their guide us on our way, all the way to that manger, that Christ-child, hope born anew.