Ministers’ LetterDec 2021 – Jan 2022
I remember finding it hard initially to understand what was happing during Advent in Germiston. As we moved through the season of Advent, especially from mid-December, worship attendance would decrease markedly. Christmas worship only involved a small remnant. I gradually understood that members were taking advantage of the long summer holiday to travel to spend time with their families. Judging by the number of people who have already spoken with me about their Christmas travel plans I wonder if Christmas in Croydon this year will be similar to that in Germiston. Having been unable to gather with family and friends last Christmas it is not surprising that many of us will seize the opportunity to gather with those we love this Christmas. Hopefully, our Christmas celebrations this year will feel especially poignant because of the people with whom we can spend it.
I write this letter a week before we mark the beginning of Advent and our preparation for Christmas. I offer two prayers taken from morning prayer liturgies in The Daily Office SSF, the prayer book of the Society of Saint Francis, one for Advent and the other for Christmas, together with a few questions to ponder.
who set before us the great hope
that your Kingdom shall come on earth
and taught us to pray for its coming
give us grace to discern the signs of its dawning
and to work for the perfect day
when the whole world shall reflect your glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- What gives us causes for hope?
- Do we expect to see signs of God’s coming kingdom? Where do we look, and why?
- How do we understand our role in helping the coming of God’s kingdom?
who wonderfully created us in your own image
and yet more wonderfully restored us
through your Son Jesus Christ:
grant that, as he came to share our humanity,
so we may share the life of his divinity;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
- What does the coming of Jesus Christ into the world reveal about God’s nature?
- What does the coming of Jesus Christ into the world reveal about our humanity?
- How do we live in the light of these truths?
Whether Christmas finds us here in Croydon or celebrating elsewhere, I pray that we will know God’s love, joy and peace as we prepare and then celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.