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Advent Message from John Scott

We are not used to waiting these days! The incessant pace and demand of life, especially through electronic media makes us increasingly impatient and intolerant of having to wait. I am not happy if my computer screen does not instantly spring into life on demand!

Advent is about watching and waiting for the coming of God to complete his work, but doing so in activity and hope. On Advent Sunday we who are Christian disciples, are reminded by our scriptures that, though the world seems bleak and broken at times, God is going to complete the job he started in Bethlehem on that first Christmas, and continued in Jesus’ loving death and mighty resurrection at Easter. Advent is about the sure and certain hope that God will finish what he has started, that justice and right will triumph in the end and that he wants us to be part of bringing that future about.

What are your hopes and dreams at present - for yourself, your family, your church, for after death? Our lives are full of hopes: worldly, natural hopes, important and trivial. People in some other parts of the world hope for no more war, that there will be food and clean water tomorrow, that they simply get safely to the end of the day. Maybe you feel too trapped, maybe you can’t be bothered to hope, or worse, maybe all your hope is gone: it has been pressed out of you by a hard life.

Advent Sunday calls us back to our hopes and dreams in Christ. In Mark's Gospel Chapter 13: v.33 we are told of a parable where a master has left his servants in charge while he is away for a long undefined journey, Jesus says. “Beware, keep alert; you do not know when the time will come (for the master to return).” And in v.37. “What I say to you, I say to all: keep awake!" Are we complacent in our spiritual waiting, or active in pushing forward the boundaries of the Kingdom of God as his disciples?

So here we are in Advent 2022 being called to renew our hope in the God who still comes to us now, every minute, every moment, calling us to watch and wait and join in with his work in the world. Waiting in Advent hope is not about inertia and leaving it all to God.

Advent is a wake-up call to the Church to watch and pray, but not to stop there, rather to see what God is doing and join in. The message of Advent is to reject complacency. Don’t just sit there, but join in with God. Find out what is God calling you to do between now and Christmas

There is no settling in the Christian life. We are not called to be sleepily religious, but to be faithful and adventurous for and with Jesus. Always remember that God has double vision for you: he sees you as you are and as you can or should be in Jesus. The challenge of Advent is to live an authentic Christian life:

The Christian is the only person in this universe who has the absolute right to be a total and eternal optimist. There is no such thing as a hopeless Christian. It is a contradiction in terms. The Russian writer Dostoevsky, who knew enough about worldly hopelessness wrote this: “Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope!” What are you waiting for?

John Scott


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