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Monthly letter

In the Churches calendar we have now finished with the Sundays after Trinity and are now looking to and ending and a beginning.

The ending is that of year A in the pattern of Bible readings we use in church services and the beginning is Advent and year B for the readings.

We also have the season of reflection and remembering with All Saints, All Souls [the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed], Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday as well as the final Sunday of the Church year, Christ the King.

Of course, after the celebration of Christ the King we turn to our time of prayerful preparation before the next great celebration, the joyful celebration of Christmas, we have the season of Advent.

It is so important for us to pause, slow down, not to rush into Christmas, but to consider what the true meaning of Christmas is. We need to think, why does God become a one of us, born into the world that God created in the first place?

Why? To bring about our salvation!

Why? To offer a new and better way of living, a way that is centred on love and compassion, generosity and hope rather than greed, selfishness, hatred and despair.

Why? Because we are created in the image of God, although we have marred that beauty, God wants to make all right with and for us!

So it is that we come to know Jesus, the child born to Mary, the one who will grow into the Christ, the anointed one of God.

As you can tell, this is a very important time for us all in the world, so it is also important to take the time to prepare and so we have the season of Advent.

You may be going be busy writing and sending your Christmas cards, to ensure that you have arranged the correct presents for those important people in your lives, to make the Christmas cake and prepare the food for the festive season. All these are wonderful and enjoyable.

Please also take the time to prepare yourself spiritually for the season.

In our churches we will offer the opportunity to follow through the season, with Advent Candles on the Advent Wreath, with Advent Carol Service, in prayers and in study of the Bible.

We also need to consider our lives and how we are living.

As Christians we should see what is going on in the world, we should pray for justice and peace and where we can, to take action to ensure that these important values are achieved in reality.

Whatever happens, I pray that you will all have a good Advent, time to prepare both in the worldly ways and also in the spiritual ways for the great celebration of Christmas.

Remember, Christmas begins with Christ! That is, the most important aspect of the season is Jesus, the child who will become the man who saves the world, who saves us to eternal life.

Your brother in Christ Jesus

The Revd Paul McLeod



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