April 25, 2018

Rev writes…

So much of our life is about journeying – some of that we do alone, much of it we do with others.  Our lives are a journey from birth to death with usually much happening in between.  Advent is an opportunity to journey together towards the incarnation – when Jesus came to earth to be one of us, to be human and to live, grow and teach us the ways of God.  His birth of course became overshadowed by his death, yet in the scriptures we have glimpses of all parts of his life.  From the prophetic words held within the Old Testament about a Saviour, coming to rescue God’s people; through the lives and events that happened to various characters, through to the birth narratives and the response of various people.

 

Advent itself speaks to us not only of the coming of Jesus at his birth but it speaks forward to a time when he will return.  A future event that we might find hard to envision, yet is at the heart of our Christian faith.  Jesus is not dead, he is alive!

 

Now, we might simply follow Advent by marking it each day by opening an Advent Calendar – for many people, particularly children and their stressed parents it becomes a countdown to Christmas, it can seem very long and the calendar makes it that bit easier.

 

When I was young an Advent calendar was shared with my brother and sister so we would stand round it and one of us would open it and we would all have a look and be delighted at whatever the picture was.  The best of course coming on Christmas Eve with a picture of the baby in a manger!  Simple times!  These days most Advent calendars involve chocolate and over the past few years it’s got more and more interesting to see what can be bought.  Lego, beer, Gin & Tonic, beauty boxes and so on; some costing more than many would spend on a present.  There are even ‘Christmas Advent Calendars’ a little confusing as they cover the 12 days of Christmas – obviously not quite understanding what or when advent is!

 

However, in all of these there is the understanding of something being a mix of ‘now and not yet’ which we recognize as part of our Christian faith.  Every Advent we wait for Christmas when we celebrate Jesus being born, because it’s “not yet”.  At the same time, we know that Jesus was born 2000 years ago, so he is here “now” as well.  Jesus himself taught his followers that “the Kingdom of God has come” – it is Now, but it’s hard to see the evidence of that because it’s Not Yet fully realised. The anticipation of Advent and the joy of Christmas are a picture for us of that Kingdom as we wait for it.  Whatever calendar you use this year, or buy for someone else, enjoy the Not Yet of Advent as we await the Now of Christmas.  This is the journey we return to each year in anticipation of the joy of the incarnation.  I do hope you have an interesting journey and that you can join us for some of our Christmas celebrations too.

 

Kind regards and blessings of the season.

Revd Gerri Tetzlaff