Advent/Christmas Letter 2019
Here we are again! This is our second Advent and Christmas together. Advent is special. It is the New Year for the church calendar and new beginnings are exciting. We begin the New Year by getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth and for his return.
Our waiting and preparations during Advent are active. They are filled with hope and promise. We read the Gospel passages that are filled with words of warning and trepidation. We are reminded that God sent his Son the first time amidst the chaos and tragedy in the world and God will send him again, in God’s time and in God’s own unique way.
We decorate the church with candles on the Advent wreath, use the deep blue colours of the season for the altar and build the crèche with its assortment of animals, shepherds and the Holy Family. We wait with excited anticipation for the Christmas pageant to hear the Christmas story afresh from a young person’s perspective. This story of love, light and promise has changed people around the world.
We sing hymns and songs that are unique to this time of the year. They tell us the story of our Saviour and our longing for Him. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a favourite. The words alone touch us deeply, break our hearts and put them back together. Ransomed captives, mourning in lowly exile, God with us and finally Rejoice!
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus reminds us of our past trespasses – from our sins release us – and brings us forward to a future – born to set us free – filled with hope.
It is the Taize chant Wait for the Lord, Whose Day is Near with its meditative verse and rhythm that gives us hope – the day is near, be strong, take heart. The hymns are our prayers and keep us focused as we wait during Advent.
With Advent we move into Christmas. At the 7:00pm Christmas Eve service we will sing our special carols. As we sing Silent Night, lighting each other’s candles, we will watch as Jesus’ light fills the church.
This Advent and Christmas may you experience the deep peace of God’s love and promise in his Son Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!
P.S. For those who are not able to join us during the season, you will be missed. If you would like to contribute financially, there are three ways.
- First you could mail a check to this address: St. John the Divine Anglican Church, 301 Main Street East, North Bay, Ontario P1B 1B3
- The second way is to donate through Canada Help using this link: www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/stjohnthedivine.
- The third way is to visit us at the church and we would love to see you and wish you a Merry Christmas in person.
However, you make your contribution we are grateful and wish you a meaningful Advent and joy filled Christmas.
Faithfully yours, Rev. Beth Hewson+