Letter from Nancy December 2018 

CANDLES 12-2018as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life

To my dear friends and readers, at this very special time of the year. As you know, a new Church Year begins on Advent Sunday, 2nd December. Advent, from the Latin ‘Adventists’, means coming, but who is coming and what are we waiting for?

We are waiting for Jesus to arrive, not just as a baby at Christmas but also when He comes again. it is a season of hope when we look forward to the last day when. Christ Jesus comes again to establish His Kingdom here on earth. We will now have our Advent wreath in church with its candles and evergreen. What does it all mean? The wreath made of evergreen, arranged in a circle, signifies continuous life and because it has no beginning or end, symbolises the eternity of God and the Everlasting life of Christ
The four candles, one for each week of Advent are said to represent the 4000 years from Adam and Eve until the birth of our Saviour. The white candle in the Centre is for our Lord Jesus, and will be lit during the late service on Christmas Eve, the flames reminding us that Jesus is the Light of the World
Everyone is busy at this time of year, preparing for Christmas, decorating their homes, shopping for presents for family and friends, baking and cooking, and visiting family and relatives, all very normal and traditional, but are we forgetting what the season of Advent is really about?
During The next few weeks of Advent we are journeying on a spiritual and sacred road as we open our hearts and minds for a new awakening of the Christ within us. it is a time in our personal lives where we are preparing to share and receive. it is a truly special time, for all of us, for deep within us we are all desirous to put Christ back in Christmas. Advent is a time of prayer, penitence, reconciliation and meditation as we wait for the coming of our Saviour Jesus, into our lives. Are we ready?
Seven years ago when I was spending Christmas in. Galway Ireland, where I grew up, the following poem was written and read by a local person at the Christmas service I was attending. I think it will make us all think of our priorities

Ready for Christmas

by Helena Hogan

“Ready for Christmas?” she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts, piled high,
Then wearily sat for a moment and read,
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head

Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream,
“Ready for Christmas?. “What do you mean?
Ready for Christmas when only last week
You couldn’t acknowledge your friend in the street

Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge?
Perhaps you had better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ Child come and abide
In the heart that is selfish and filled with pride?

Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar had come and you turned him away,
Without even a smile to show that you care,
The little he asked, it could have been spared

Ready for Christmas? You’ve worked it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to so,
Ready for Christmas, your circles too small,
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all!"

She woke with a start and a cry of despair.
“There is so little time and I’ve still to prepare
O Father, forgive me, I see what you mean
To be ready for Christmas means more than a house swept clean”

It’s, more than the giving of gifts and a tree
It’s the heart swept clean that He wants to see.
A heart that is free from bitterness - sin,
Ready for Christmas - Ready for Him

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a holy and blessed peaceful and joyful Christmas and a New Year full of hope, resolve, anticipation and love

God Bless, Nancy