Tag Archives: advent

An advent message

We have finally made it to the end of term… please find below our advent message from St Paul’s.

Have a happy, peaceful and prayerful Christmas.

God bless.

 

We know it is coming towards Christmas when we see the latest Christmas advert that has become a great British tradition. It can start the feeling of hope, anticipation and preparing something special for all of us and our families, a special time for all of us.

In essence this is what the Gospel is challenging us to do too… we need to be prepared and get ready. This isn’t just for one big day of indulgence or sharing presents but actually for the coming of Jesus into the world.

We are challenged to embark on a journey to get ready to welcome Jesus into our lives in a new way. It is an opportunity to get our lives in order, to pray and put things in perspective.

This in the most basic way could be the best present this Christmas, the gift of faith could last far longer than our discarded gifts or full stomachs.

I hope and pray this advent we can be blessed by renewed faith and hope in our lives and light in the world around us.

God bless.

Good News – What would yours be?

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This Sunday we had the opportunity to celebrate Bible Sunday – on our journey in advent we can think about how we have a positive impact on all those we meet as Christians. The word Gospel means Good News and this is what the life of Jesus was going to be all about.

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The Gospel reading was the account of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, who said “Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.” Maybe it may have been tempting for John it take the glory and attention but instead he played a key role in preparing the way for the life of Jesus. Maybe we sometimes have to recognise we are only a small “link in a chain”, the most inspiring people I have ever met spend time building others up and looking for them to take the plaudits and avoiding the limelight personally as an individual. We need to lead, teach and learn in a way that serves others and improves the lives of those around us.

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But turn on the news each day and we do not often see “good news stories”… We are challenged to create our Good News story in our lives in some small way… maybe at times we are waiting for someone else to take a lead or make the first move. We have a chance this Christmas to share some light and hope with those around us. I think all of us can do this, not only with grand gestures but with the smallest things. We have done this during this Advent by looking to donate to the Giving Tree which could make a real difference this Christmas. I was so proud to see students quietly bringing gifts down to donate today – without fuss or reward, knowing it could make a real difference in our local community.

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As Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world…” So let’s all spread the Good News this Christmas.

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Are you ready for a journey?

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So we are there already preparing for Christmas once again… but what does this really mean? Is it the mad rush to get ready and prepare by splashing the cash? Black Friday gave us an insight of how far this can go…

Watching this for me and seeing the images over the weekend prompts me to think we may well have lost the plot… how can we see this as normal or an acceptable image of humanity? I hope we can go on a journey taking us far away from this low point.

We are called to go on a deeper journey… so what can it be like this year? What do I have a longing for this Advent?

Spiritual Journey

  1. An opportunity to engage with what matters most in our lives – we can find time to put our lives back in order. We can invest time with family, friends and faith.
  2. A chance to look for ways to reach out to those in the world around us – we are working this year with two charities supporting those who are homeless in Brighton – http://www.offthefence.org.uk and http://www.stannesdaycentre.org.uk. We are encouraging families to commit to supporting our “Giving Tree” and look forward to sharing this with the charities locally.
  3. A way for us to take time to think of how we can bring Christ into our lives – we are not just challenged to remember the story of Christmas but to look to reengage with our faith and find ways to bring light and hope to those around us.

I hope this Advent brings us all closer to those we love most and to a deeper relationship with God – if we can do this we will be a living witness to Christmas once again.