Life is Advent

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Thu, 24 Dec 2015 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

On Monday evening, I finally accepted that Christmas is upon us.

While I’ve been enjoying the purchasing of gifts, the drinking of things that are hot and mulled, the annual experience of all watching all eight Harry Potter films and the lighting of many, many candles, I’ve resisted the full sense of ‘Christmassyness’ (a non-word it may be, but it conveys so much!).

While I’ve still not embraced Advent as fully as I’d have liked, I’ve really valued this season of preparation, of waiting, of hope and light. Before the celebration of Christmas truly begins, I want to share with you a few things that capture something of the message of Advent.

Hope and new life in Ethiopia
Yesterday, Linda sent me the links to two videos from our partners in Gambella, Ethiopia (part of the Diocese of Egypt). A few years ago, CMSI was able to support the building of a new Anglican Centre in Gambella. These videos, produced by the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, share something of the impact of the Anglican Centre. They’re the perfect example of how God’s people can offer hope and new life to those living in darkness.

You can view the videos by clicking on the following links:
Cham’s Story
Peter’s Story

Embracing a Blue Christmas
Here’s another Thought for the Day from the ‘Today’ programme on Radio 4, which a few of us in CMSI found helpful. It reminds us that the light promised at Christmas is most clearly seen and most readily embraced by those who have known darkness, despair and brokenness.

The Coming of the Lord
Finally, another quote from Henri Nouwen (Each year, I dip into a series of reflections for Advent and Christmas that includes extracts from Nouwen’s writing)…

It is Advent again. In his sermon this morning, Oscar Uzin said:

Be alert, be alert, so that you will be able to recognise your Lord in your husband, your wife, your parents, your children, your friends, your teachers, but also in all that you read in the daily papers. The Lord is coming, always coming. Be alert to his coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognise him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognising the coming of the Lord.

Thank you for sharing Advent with us in these reflections. May you continue to know the coming of the Lord. And may you have a wonderful Christmas!

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