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Friday, December 1, 2017

Advent is here: Happy New Year


Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Sourced here)

Pastoral Message from Cedric for my worldwide JohnWesleyProject.com community

‘And He who sits upon the throne said ‘Behold I make things new” Rev 21:5

Happy New Year !!!!!?????

Advent marks the beginning of a new year in the Christian calendar. The liturgical year starts with the first Sunday in Advent, which in 2017 is 3rd December, and then
moves into Christmas season, which includes Christmas Day, Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus. Then it moves into Lent which ends with Holy Week, followed by Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Then it is the Season of Easter (Paschaltide) which includes Ascension Day and ends on Pentecost Sunday. This is followed by the Season of Pentecost which begins with Trinity Sunday and ends the fifth Sunday before Christmas. The new liturgical year then begins four Sundays before Christmas, with Advent once again.

We are now in the season of Advent. In her book The Liturgical Year, Jean Chittister defines Advent as the season that “teaches us to wait for what is beyond the obvious. It trains us to see what is behind the apparent. Advent makes us look for God in all the places we have until now, ignored.” I hope we’ll have such an Advent. It’s been another difficult year for most, if not all, of us, and we praise our God that He has brought us to another Advent season. When we allow Advent to do its work in us, we are hopefully reminded what we are waiting for as we go through life too busy with things that do not matter to remember things that do. Hopefully while we wait for the coming reign of God, Advent after Advent, we come to realize that its coming depends on us. What we do will either hasten or slow, sharpen or dim our commitment to do our part to bring it.

Just like the deer that pants for water, as this calendar year draws to a close, we all want something more.

Advent is not about one coming, but rather about three comings: the first coming is the remembrance of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in the flesh; the next coming which Advent calls our attention to, is a coming greater than the simple fact of a human birth. This is the coming of the presence of God in our midst, a coming which makes Jesus present in our lives… now. The final coming to which Advent points us is the Second Coming of Christ. I hope we don’t allow ourselves to become stuck in one of the above, rather than allowing all three to permeate our celebrations this season.

The essence of the Advent Season is JOY and it is my prayer that you will experience joy in abundance this Advent.


Much love,

Cedric.

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