Team Magazine

                                                Adventuring in Advent.

What toSt Michael’s Posada or travelling crib you think of when you think about Advent?

Do you think about Advent or do you jump straight from Hallowe’en to Christmas?

Advent is a short season of the Church’s year; there are only 4 Sundays in Advent which may start as early as November 27th and as late as December 3rd, and it has become dominated by our preparations for Christmas.

Despite good intentions we get pulled in different directions as the world around us gets caught up in the Christmas rush. Even Advent calendars have become more about expensive treats rather than following the story of the birth of Jesus with added chocolate.

It has not always been like this!

Beginning around the sixth century Advent has been a time of preparation for the celebration of the Nativity marked by fasting and prayer.

The Latin word adventus, from which our word Advent is derived, is paralleled in Greek by the word parousia, which has strong links, in Christian tradition, with the expectation of Christ’s second coming in judgement and in later centuries, people’s thoughts were directed in Advent to contemplation of the Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Hell and Heaven.

In recent years there has been a shift away from that focus towards joyful expectation of Christ’s coming at Christmas, the embodiment of God’s saving work in liberating his people from oppression.

Advent is about preparation and expectation, so let us make full use of the opportunity of the season and spend a little time every day preparing ourselves for Christmas.

We can pray for the people we are writing Christmas cards to or buying present for.

We can donate goods to Rainbow Junktion or other food bank as a reverse Advent calendar - something for every day in Advent.

We can read and contemplate on a few verses of the Christmas stories in the gospels of Matthew and Luke each day or we can read an Advent book.  At St Michael’s we will have a selection of books available to be borrowed, many of which contain a daily reading and short reflection for each day of Advent.

Let’s adventure a little in Advent and journey with the Holy Family to Bethlehem where we will receive the greatest gift of all.

With every blessing to you this Advent and Christmas,

Angela

Revd Dr Angela Birkin

Team Vicar

 


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