Sunday 3 December 2023

Sunday 3rd December - Pause in ADVENT 1 - HOPE

 After all the activity of the past few days it will be good to stop for a day (once I have made the Christmas wreath to hang outside the door, and the Christmas ring of five candles to sit in the hearth!)

There's quite a bit still to do.

The first candle - once I have made the wreath! - is for HOPE. 

We are hoping for the coming of Christ, the Messiah. I used to be fearful of the 'Second Coming', when 'Christ will come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead' (from the creed). I wondered if I would be quick enough to escape judgement. 

Now I think of it differently; I live in the hope that I am accepted by Christ, but, as the hymn goes 'just as I am, without one plea, but that my Saviour died for me'. Not a 'fingers crossed' sort of hope, but a 'full assurance of faith' (part of  prayer from the Communion service) hope.

I have turned back through all the pages of my prayer book to find the collect for the first Sunday in Advent;

It's a long collect; so full of phrases and clauses that it took me a while to get my head round it.

Copying it into next week's appointments page in my diary helps.

 That way I have to go through slowly and carefully, a few words at a time.

Here's my take on it 

In the run-up to Christmas, I pray for God's grace to help me turn my back on 'the works of darkness' - things which diminish me as a person, such as gossip, tetchiness, unkindness, for example - and embrace 'the works of light' - charity, kindness, thoughtfulness, for example.   

And then, after Christmas, I pray that these good habits will be well enough established to survive into the New Year. 


  1. Replies
    1. Setting up resolutions for Advent and Lent always seem a bit of a wasted opportunity to me if one doesn't carry on with the 'good work' afterwards, but just slumps back into the bad old ways!