Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Welcome to worship as we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is a significant season of preparation amidst for many people, frantic shopping, lots of parties and end of year functions. Balancing the spiritual and the temporal at this time of year can be challenging, but not impossible. There are still some very important things we can do.
• As we write our Christmas Cards, buy presents and wrap them, we can think and pray for those who will receive them.
• The time it takes to stand in shopping queues we can offer silent prayer for the people around us and those who work at checkouts and in other parts of stores.
• Join in a Lenten Advent Study and/or read the study material at home.
• As Christmas approaches take time to contemplate The Incarnation and how Christ fills our lives with hope, peace, joy and love (the themes of our Advent Season.
• Taking time to catch up with people we may only otherwise do Periodically.
• Use the themes of the coming season to spark conversations that might help someone else to engage meaningfully in the spirit of Christmas.
• Think and do something about how we can give to others less fortunate through Advent and Christmas Appeals.
May we journey well with Christ through the Advent Season.
Rev Cannon Ian Howarth is the Rector of the Anglican Parish of St Paul's Kyneton and St John's Malmsbury and is the team leader of the Central Highlands Cluster.