Pastoral Letter

Friday, 27th November 2020

 

Dear Friends,

I began last time with reflecting on the fact that I will probably not meet many of you for a while and so it has proved to be the case. I do still look forward to worshipping and sharing with you as we return to worship in our Churches from the first Sunday in December.

We look forward to the start of Advent, some of you will know that Celtic Advent has actually started on the 16th November and is like Lent a period of 40 Days of reflection before the birth of Christ. We look forward with hope as to what is to come, but first we must spend time in preparation. This traditional practise did and for many will still do, in preparing ourselves as individuals for the time ahead.

This week’s readings within the Methodist Prayer Handbook are entitled Faith in Adversity, they look at Daniel and his friends and how they definitely faced many trials for sticking to their faith. Daniel of course got to spend some time with the local wildlife and actually was not harmed by the Lions because he decided that he was going to continue to pray to God, instead of following the instructions of the land. He was able to interpret dreams that brought him to be noticed and had dreams that looked towards the future of the kingdom and the many kingdoms that were to come, including the final day or end times.

This is where we usually begin in advent at the end, looking at readings like Daniel that talk of the end times and Judgement. These are called apocalyptic literature or readings, a nice light topic to think about as we head towards Christmas. Advent is a time to take stock and to just try to look at ourselves and to think, to spend some time looking at difficult passages or the difficult times that we have faced this year. There may also be some joy during this year reflecting on some unusual positives that have happened through the wonders of modern technology or groups of people able to get together who may never had met.

We are encouraged to look forward to the joy and hope that comes at Christmas in the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ the Son of God. The light that came into a dark world, a light that is still needed today so we can continue to show people the way. The apocalyptic literature encourages us to look further on. I know many of us might want to move on quickly past this year and even the next few months ahead, when we may be able to have some freedoms to enjoy. We are encouraged though to look further on, to look where we might be going in our faith and as a Church. We need to ensure we are listening to and talking of the love of God.

I pray as Advent begins that our preparations and reflections may lead us back to Christ. May God Bless you and walk with you this Advent.

Revd Rob Balfour
Hurst, Mossley, Waterloo, Rosehill Methodist Primary Academy