There’s no hiding the fact: it’s been a tough year. Politics and pandemic have made for a year that most of us would like to put behind us. Advent begins this Sunday, the traditional period before Christmas of reflection and preparation. It’s an opportunity in these difficult times, to remember the gift that God offers us, the joy which cannot be taken away.
The prophet Isaiah wrote in times more difficult than ours. He said, ‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned’ (Is. 9:2). This light in the darkness is Jesus. Even though he was writing in the 8th century BC, Isaiah could see Jesus coming. He continues, ‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’ (Is. 9:6)’.
The hope which Isaiah spoke about back then, speaks just as powerfully to us today. Jesus is our Light in the darkness. This Christmas, we want to celebrate this Light. We want to tell others about this Light. We want to welcome people from around our city to hear about this Light.
Our theme this year is, ‘A light in the darkness’. During our Christmas services, we’ll be looking at the names of Jesus from Isaiah 9.
As you know, normally at St Andrew’s we do Christmas in a big way: Carols by Candlelight, mince pies and mulled wine, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. We understand that due to renewed social distancing restrictions, there’s a possibility that our in-person services will not happen. If that’s the case, we’ll resume our online Sunday services, and also make a special online service at Christmas. Please keep a look out for details when they come.
As we begin Advent, please use this time to prayerfully reflect and give thanks for Jesus, and invite people to our Christmas services, whether they’re in person or online.