30th November 2022

Advent: I think of it as a time of promise. Over the years in various groups of Advent Bible Studies I have explored how God prepared his chosen people for his last and greatest act of salvation through his Messiah. From Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph through to Moses and on to the prophets God shaped a people with promises and prophecies ready for the time that should come. Doubtless he grieved that so many of them fell away but he had his faithful ones who understood more and more deeply his plan and how it might work out.

As the time drew close God prepared special people whom we also studied: Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and John the Baptist, each with their part in the plan and their special, insightful contribution to make, and we rejoice with each of them in turn.

Promise leads to fulfilment which implies repentance – the other great theme of Advent. I can repent but only Jesus can cleanse and forgive. Only his forgiveness can make me ready for the final fulfilment of his promise: life with him in heaven. Meanwhile I rejoice and try to counteract the grimness of life by spreading abroad his love and the certainty of his promise being fulfilled.

Lesley Fuller