Welcome to our Advent Challenge - we thought we would do Advent differently this year and make it an opportunity to combine all our congregations (7.30 10am and Messy Church) for a time of food fellowship and worship, as well as anyone else who is welcome to join us !!!!! We are a friendly bunch!
Advent is a season of preparation leading up to Christmas and the word Advent comes from the Latin word Adventus which means coming. At this time of the year we remember the coming of Jesus into the world - what we call the incarnation - but many churches also focus on the fact that one day Jesus will return as Judge and King - what we know as the second coming.
The tradition of having an Advent Wreath came to prominence during the reformation era of Martin Luther and was not so much to do with illuminating the church but more a symbol of the coming of Christ.
A circular wreath made of evergreen foliage reminds us of the eternal nature of God with no beginning and no end.
The four candles remind us of the four virtues that Jesus brings namely Hope Love, Joy and Peace. One of the four candles is lit every week and then on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day the white Christ candle is lit to remind us that Jesus is himself the light of the world who casts the darkness out of our lives.
Today we encourage you to enjoy your breakfast and a chance to chat to other Christians. We hope that you learn something about the season of Advent and that through the crafts you might see how symbols can be a powerful way of reminding us of the coming of Jesus into the world.
We will share a very informal service of bread and wine to remember Jesus who is the reason that we are preparing our hearts in this season and finally a challenge!
Will you take your advent calendar away and rather than getting fat on chocolate! There is a devotional or practical activity to do every day, which I challenge myself and also you to do!
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and commercial aspects of Christmas but Advent is all about preparing our hearts souls and lives for the coming of our King Jesus into the world.
I hope you have fun but I also hope this is the beginning of a meaningful advent journey for you this year!
May the Lord bless you richly as you follow him this Advent season
Reverend Mike ď»żď»ż