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Rev Rosie writes about anticipation

Rev Rosie Bunn
Rector of All Saints Church, Belton
St Peter & St Paul Church, Burgh Castle


Christmas is coming, but before we enjoy the celebrations of Christmas, there is the waiting of Advent, and counting down the days towards Christmas Day. How many of us enjoy opening the doors of our Advent calendar each day? I know the children do, especially if it contains a chocolate!
At school and in the churches, Advent is usually marked with four or five candles a wreath, where we light the first candle on Advent Sunday, and then light another and another on the Sundays of December, until the central, white candle is lit on Christmas Day marking the birth of Jesus. It is always a poignant moment in the middle of Midnight Mass when we pause to light the candle, recognising that Christmas Day has begun
This year, during Advent as we prepare to celebrate once again the coming of Christ into the world some 2000 years ago, there is an anticipation. Often that anticipation focusses around the joy of presents given and received, time spent with family and friends and special food to be enjoyed
For the four weeks of Advent in our churches, this year, we are focussing on the many different names given to Jesus in the Bible, and what they mean to us; a different name for each of the twenty five days leading to the celebration of Jesus’s birth. I thought it might be good to share a few of those with you as the different names of Jesus Christ tell us much about his character and purpose. Some will be familiar from the Christmas Bible readings read at carol services, others not so well known
Son of God – spoken by the voice from heaven at Jesus’ baptism (used first of all to Mary by the Angel Gabriel)
Messiah – the deliverer of the Jewish nation (used by the wise men in seeking direction from Herod)
Saviour – because Jesus came to save the world from sin and death (spoken by the angel to the shepherds)
Immanuel – a Hebrew word meaning “God with us” (spoken by the angel in Joseph’s dream, when he changed his mind and took Mary to be his wife)
The Word – “was with God... and was God the beginning ... through whom creation was made” (from the familiar reading of the first chapter of John’s gospel)
The Way – through Jesus we know God; he is the way to forgiveness, restoration and eternal life (from words spoken by Jesus himself as he prepared his disciples for what would happen – his crucifixion).
Prince of Peace – because Jesus brought peace between God and humankind
Morning Star – when Venus rises, the sun is about to follow. The
birth of Jesus heralded the coming of the Kingdom of God
Good Shepherd – to be the shepherd of (God’s) people, in leading,
providing and protecting, (in the description given to the wise men
when they were looking for the newborn King of the Jews in King
Herod’s court)
Redeemer – Jesus is the one who bought back our lives, by giving
himself on the cross
Jesus – his name means “to save, to deliver” (given by the Angel
Gabriel to Mary as the name for her son)
At Christmas we remember Jesus as the newborn baby in the
manger, but he is far more than just the baby. His birth was spoken of
at the beginning of the Bible and referred to many times in the Old
Testament; the New Testament records what he did whilst he lived on
earth, and after his resurrection to new life, and what Jesus’ followers
did in the early days of the Christian church
ROSIE WRITES 12-2021Christmas is exciting and inspirational,
because in Jesus God reintroduced
himself to humanity and offered us the
invitation to life in all its fullness, a life that
never ends. Meet Jesus at the manger; let
him inspire you, let him love you, let him
reveal the real beauty of Christmas once
Happy Christmas everyone, Rosie

image courtesy of Village Voice magazine


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