All the insecurity and uncertainty in the world over the months of lockdown has led many of our commentators in the media to continually bewail our current situation and to present a highly critical view of what we are all facing. I trust that our identity as children of God has given us a different perspective on life.
What a difference faith and trust make for the Christian as we start a new cycle in the church’s year. We are facing the same restraints as everyone else but I believe that our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ helps us to see beyond the immediacy of the restraints on our lives by the impact of all the guidance (or rules) which we are required to observe.
It is that difference which enables us to look beyond today, to that certain future with a confidence that others cannot share. Do Christians have a monopoly on this certainty? Yes, we do, because we have accepted the good news which leads us at this Advent-tide to look back to remember and celebrate at Christmas that God come to live among us in the form of Jesus, who was completely human and also completely divine. We are also looking forward to Jesus’ return as King when God our Father decides it is time that the old earth will pass, and the new heaven and earth will be revealed.
Of course, we do not have a monopoly on this Good News which is for all. What we can do at this season of “good will to all people” is to share with our family, friends and neighbours how our Christian faith adds that deeper perspective to our lives which God wants for us, lives of fulfilment, of love and of joy.
Planning for our Christmas services has been challenging as we interpret the recently amended regulations. Thankfully, we can meet again to worship in church as a fellowship, with our sense of being drawn to that common experience enhanced through the medium of Zoom. I have felt that the sense of “togetherness”, while different to all being in church, is nevertheless a meaningful representation of “being church” which is to be called apart even for a moment, to share in that special spiritual experience of worship.
May this advent season of hope, joy, love and peace lead you to a renewing of your relationship with our heavenly Father, through Jesus his Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
With God’s blessing,
Rev’d Paul Boddam-Whetham