It may be my age, but Advent, Christmas and the turn of the year seem to come round even more quickly each year and I find myself asking where did 2021 go? Of course if I ask what happened in 2021 it will be different for us all as it will be for our two churches, but it is a time of year when we look back and look forward. At KURC’s 1st Sunday in Advent service I quoted from the URC centrally published online worship that said about Advent;
‘We look back and remember God’s promises of hope and saving love.
We look forward as we yearn for Jesus to return again and put all things right.
We realise that we’re between two worlds – the world we live in and inhabit and the world that is to come.
We are often tempted, when we think of the state of the world, to long for God to come and put things right;
today we remind ourselves that God also waits – for us to put things right too!
As we look back at where we have come together through another year of living with the pandemic, we have had to adapt to a changing landscape of church and it causes us to look at our life with Christ through a different lens of our experiences. It is through the experiences of change and our adaptability to embrace it, that we can look with faith to the future. In Jeremiah 33 we are told of a place of desolation where nothing can survive but
that God will totally transform it to a place of life through Christ.
‘14 ‘“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will fulfil the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
15 ‘“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.’[NIVUK]
I believe God wants us to encourage the new shoots of mission and growth in his church at Bilton and KURC and asks each of us to work towards this in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. I am reminded of the analogy with the elastic band. An elastic band is no good unless it is stretched, it is then it becomes of use. So let us follow Christ being open to be stretched and transformed in our thinking, our doing and our being.
May you all be truly blessed in every situation you find yourselves in this Christmas and my personal thanks for all your love and support in 2021. I look forward to sharing together with you in the work God calls us to do in 2022.
Your friend and servant