Exminster Methodist Church, Main Road, Exminster EX6 8BT
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Minister: Rev Ben Haslam, Telephone (01392) 256716
Some reflective thoughts for Advent
When they were slaves in Egypt, the Israelites yearned for deliverance. God, through Moses, delivered them.
Later when the Israelites had suffered a long history of exile and then occupation by the Romans, they yearned for God’s promise that a Messiah would come to be fulfilled.
That Messiah arrived and spoke clearly about a glorious conclusion to this long story of suffering and waiting, in which God’s purposes for creation are fulfilled and all will be made new. Then, there will be ‘no more crying or pain… for the old order of things will have passed away’.
We are part of that history, because, though the Messiah did come, the conclusion He talked about hasn’t yet happened. So we are people who are waiting, people who are expectant, people who may walk in darkness, but who can nonetheless see a great light on the horizon.
That’s what the season of Advent calls us to remember. Christmas is much more meaningful when we have observed a good Advent first. So times of quiet and reflection are a good idea (it’s possible even at this time of year – I’ll try if you will!) to help ground us in these enduring truths and stop us getting so swept up in the general busyness of the season that what really matters passes us by.
I imagine that the reason for the Church’s year beginning with Advent is that it sets us up for the rest of the year. The prophets, John the Baptist, Mary and countless others waited for a Messiah, having more faith than answers, but trusting all the same. What an example of trust, hope and proclaiming of good news for us to follow as we enter into a new year!
We are also called to remind ourselves that what we see is not all there is, and that Advent and Christmas point us to the future as well as to the past. As T.S. Eliot put it; “The beginning shall remind us of the end, and the first coming of the second coming…..”
Have a reflective Advent, wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy and holy 2019.