Sunday, November 30, 2008

The new year begins

I love Advent Sunday, and the sense of a new beginning it conveys through the scriptures we read, the hymns and the prayers. We had a good turn out, around fifty adults and children for the Sung Eucharist, and by the end I felt filled with energy by the occasion, as opposed to drained - which makes a nice change.

Before the evening Carol service I took Communion to Hilda and Angela, patients in the Infirmary West Wing, and then went up to take Communion to Peggy in Cyncoed. It was dusk when I arrived and her house was in darkeness, but the front room curtains were opened and I guessed that as on other occasions when I'd calle din the afternoon, she'd gone to sleep by the fire. I was right and caught a glimpse of her through the sitting room curtains. I tapped the window and she awakened immediately, and then let me in. She's another Advent lover, and was delighted that I called. When I read to her the Gospel for the day (Mark 13:24-37) we both started smiling and ended up in laughter. It ends

Therefore, keep awake - for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.

We were around eighty, counting those who left early, for the Advent Carol service. Philip's hard labour in putting up advertising signs for the latter interestingly brought in a dozen more young adults than we usually expect at such an event, all faces I'd not see before, and maybe just people passing through. But it's part of our vocation and mission as a church in the heart of the city to be there and welcome all who want to share in our worship, for whatever reason, as often or a seldom as they wish to come. Community grows among those who see the value of this kind of openness and sharing as a way of witness to the Good News of the One who comes.

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