Hope Echoes

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You are wondering through the cold winter night with the thoughts and worries of the year gone by running through your head and see a glow from behind some barn doors. Intrigued, you approach it. You notice it is ajar and as you peep inside you see a group of people gathered around something. They notice you and beckon you in. The warmth of the light and fire is matched by the welcome you receive. Your eyes take in the smiles before they descend upon a young couple who seem to glow with joy. They invite you to come closer. As you approach you become transfixed on a new born baby the lady is holding. She lowers the baby into your arms and he nuzzles into you: a new life full of new promise and possibilities, lying happily in your embrace.

The big cause for celebration that we’ve been looking forward to all year has finally come amongst us. Yes, the latest Star Wars film is now in the cinemas! The first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, is a tale of light overcoming darkness but the hope but we are counting down the days to celebrate the greatest gift of hope ever to have been given to us. And after the difficult year we are coming to the end of we could do with some hope, but the hope we have is not a new hope, it is a hope from the past, present and future.  Is a hope that Isaiah knew was coming, a hope that Joseph lived out when Mary most needed it, and a hope that continues to echo throughout the world to this day. Continue reading

Adventageous

Wells Cathedral at night

Wells Cathedral at night

Year on year, Advent becomes more and more important to me.  As life becomes ever busier, the true meaning behind Christmas can too easily be lost amongst the consumerism, the parties, the family get-togethers and the TV schedules.

I need Advent.  I need the reminder to turn my thoughts away from the world, even for just a moment, and think of the miracle of grace that God sent to us: the all powerful Lord born into the most vulnerable human form of a baby. Continue reading

An overwhelming Advent

Advent may have be an overwhelming time for me this year, but it is nothing compared to how overwhelming it was for Mary and Joseph.

It is no wonder that stress levels and tempers rise just at the time of year we are preparing to celebrate the greatest birthday that has ever happened.  The period of Advent comes some time after many people have had a holiday.  Months of working, schooling, and household chores without a break takes its toll on us all eventually.  Hopefully by stopping to think about and prepare for Christmas will result in us not loosing site of what the big day is all about. Continue reading