Updated: Dec 18, 2021
Dear All Saints and Saint Marys
The season of Advent is a time to reflect on and prepare for the coming of Jesus. However, there has always been an ambiguity in this. We look forward to his coming as king and we look back to his coming as a baby in Bethlehem. Yet both are linked by our understanding of the Kingdom of God and the values it brings. As the season of advent shifts from Jesus speaking of the end times through the story of John the Baptist to Mary’s story, our need to live out God’s justice and righteousness is a thread running through the season.
This Sunday, we have Jeremiah’s vision of a ruler, who will bring that justice and righteousness. Then we have John the Baptist’s call for the people of his time to repent and live out God’s righteousness. John gave concrete examples of the generosity and selflessness that God expects of those with resources and those with authority. Finally, on the Sunday before Christmas, we have Mary’s song, with its praise for God lifting the lowly and bringing down the powerful.
As we prepare for Christmas, in what ways are we preparing for the Kingdom of God? How do we reflect God’s righteousness and justice?
These are some of the things we will be reflecting on in our 10:30am service this week at All Saints and at next week’s 10:00am service at St Mary’s.
This Sunday, we have the following services:
Advent Sunday, 28th November 2021
8:00 am All Saints Holy Communion
10:00 am St Mary’s Holy Communion with St Mary’s kids
10:30 am All Saints Advent bible discussion
In addition, we have the following worship in the coming week:
Wednesday 1st December
9:00 am All Saints Celtic Morning Prayer
Thursday 2nd December
10:00 am St Mary’s Holy Communion
Sunday 5th December
10:00 am St Mary’s Advent bible discussion
10:30am All Saints Holy Communion
6:30 pm St Mary’s Advent Carols
This week we also have Saint Andrew’s day on Tuesday 30th November. Andrew has always been in the shadow of his larger-than-life brother, Simon Peter. Yet Saint John tells us that it was Andrew that originally brought Peter to Jesus. John also tells us that Andrew brought the lad with the lunch to Jesus in the feeding of the five thousand and that he brought some Greeks to meet Jesus in Jerusalem. Bringing people to Jesus is one of the things that we are called to do, so maybe we should not look down on Andrew quite so much.
The collect for Saint Andrew’s day:
Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Saint Andrew that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ and brought his brother with him: call us by your holy word, and give us grace to follow you without delay and to tell the good news of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, Amen
May God bless you all this advent
Mark Simms Licensed Lay Minister Benefice of All Saints and St. Mary, Fishponds