Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
A blessed Advent season to you and your loved ones.
When I was a child, I used to be excited as the school term closed, the cooler breeze blew and the feeling of Christmas in the air. It is only when I grew older, I became aware that before Christmas Day, there must be a time of preparation for the birth of the Christ Child. This is called, Advent. The church and the world await in this period, where all persons must focus on the meaning of this season. A journey must be taken, not hastily and hurried, but slowly and reflectively. A time to make preparation, not by the buying of gifts and decorations, having VAT free days, and having Carnival celebrations. It is a preparation in which we are journeying to the mighty manger. A spiritual journey that enters and ends us into the presence of the Saviour of the World and our Emmanuel. A journey where we reflect on the true meaning of our lives, the challenges of giving to God and the understanding of salvation. Advent is also a time of thanks for the gift of Christ to us in past times and anticipation of his second coming. It contains both threat and promise.
It is quite tempting when we read Scripture to pass over the Old Testament readings in the Christmas Season, and even the seemingly obscure early verses in the prologue of John, in our impatience to get on to the great denouement of John 1:14, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Brothers and sisters, we must not deny the validity of the mysterious light which through many centuries went on shining, shining in the darkness. The Advent journey challenges us not to ignore those limitations of an eternal presence, discernible in so many places and situations, which have enlightened and inspired and activated men and women of many faiths over the centuries. “What is your journey? What is in your preparation? Would you be the same in this Advent season?”
An African prayer declares, “Our mysterious One to whom we always look, lighten our hearts as the sun throws light upon the dark bushes around us. May we always reflect your radiance so that those who have not known you may see you in us.” (A Processions of Prayers by John Carden)
Have a blessed journey through this Advent Season.
Your sister in Christ,