As we enter the season of Advent this year we are troubled by the violence and trouble in our world. Recent events in Paris and Mali on top of terrorist attacks throughout the Middle-East and in other parts of our world weigh heavily on our minds and in our prayers. We cry with those affected for cessation of violence and for peace in our world and yet we know this is only possible as men and women’s hearts and minds are transformed by the love of God and his Son his Jesus, our Lord.
Advent marks for us the beginning of a new Church year.
It’s a time when we focus on the birth of Jesus in his first advent, his first coming, for that is what the word means, and when we look with anticipation to his coming again as sovereign King. Advent then is far more than simply marking a 2000 year old event in history. It is celebrating God’s revealing himself in Christ Jesus so that all creation might be reconciled to Him.
Advent for Christian men and women then is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. There is in Christian hearts a yearning for deliverance from the evils of the world, seen most starkly in the cry of those who know the tyranny of injustice, violence and war and yet who have a hope of deliverance by a God who hears their cries and the cries of the vulnerable, the oppressed and dispossessed.
It is a hope, however faint at times, that love, truth, justice and righteousness will prevail. It is a hope that anticipates a new creation where there will be no more pain and suffering and in which, Jesus reigns as the Anointed One, the Messiah and King, who brings peace and justice and righteousness to the world.
May our world know God’s blessing as we prepare again this year to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour.