Our Interim Priest-in-Charge Canon Derek has written an Advent letter to the parish.
It can be found here:
Dear Friends in Christ,
“…..Character produces hope….”
Here is a story from “Alice in wonderland” when Alice met the Cheshire Puss. “Cheshire Puss,” asked Alice, “would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to go, said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
Jesus taught His disciples saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” expecting them, and we today, to trust in Him for wherever we are going. In the above conversation between “Alice” and the “Cheshire Cat” ‘Alice” was not intentional as to the purpose of her journey, and therefore, she received the answer she deserved.
According to our Liturgical Calendar, we are on the move towards Advent and then to the Christmas. Life is a journey. “Alice’ knew that. In the whole of our journey together, Jesus Christ, will be the centre of our focus. We will be living in anticipation of His coming again as He promised, and hoping to discern His coming. He is coming to be with us, as our Emmanuel. Emmanuel means God-with-us.
The scripture readings for Advent inform and inspire us to live with open minds and hearts for God’s future to impact our life’s situation. Christians of every age have inquired about the circumstances of their lives, asking: “who am I?” “why am I here?” and “who is my neighbour?” These are learning questions, especially, for disciples of Christ.
0ur Advent hoping places us in the presence of Christ, still expecting to be a community of hope. We give God thanks and praise for relationship with Christ. As we journey with Christ, we trust in the face of life’s “troubles.” In our faithful living we develop, according to St. Paul, the spiritual virtue of “patience.” As a wise counsellor, St. Paul describes our spiritual growth and development. He says, “patience produces character, character produces hope.” (Romans 5: 3b-5.)
Our Christian character is resilient in the face of life’s struggles, because of God’s “love and Spirit” working in us, we discern our Lord’s expectations of us. We celebrate joyfully the birth of Jesus Christ. With open minds and hearts, the Spirit of birth of Jesus, awakens in us the possibilities of God’s saving purpose in the world, in us and in the Church.
We do not have the mind of “Alice” but as disciples of Christ, we pray sincerely asking the Lord, “which way we ought to go from here?” As He always does, Jesus our Lord will invite us to follow Him, committing ourselves as disciples, friends and servants, abiding in Him and He in us.
May our God of hope dwell in us with all joy and peace in believing His coming again, as He lives in us and we in Him, day by day.
With every blessing.