Happy New Year! Yes, it is a new year within our Church. The first Sunday of Advent begins a new liturgical cycle. For that reason, Advent is an opportunity for us all to begin anew.
We’ve actually spent the last few days wrapping things up here at work (school reports, annual reviews, appraisals) and in many ways we are overwhelmed by the roller coaster that has been 2020. But we’re also preparing for 2021. Right now we have one foot in 2020 and one foot in 2021. Being hopeful is about looking ahead. Likewise, Advent (the four week journey to Christmas) is about getting ready and beginning some things fresh.
Wouldn’t it be nice to start anew? Are there things in your life that you’d like to leave behind or change? Most likely there are and Advent may just be the time to do so.
Beginning anew means that we take the last twelve months and give it over to God. It means we turn to Him for a fresh start and have hope in all that He wants to accomplish in our lives. It is definitely time to begin again!
- To all the students who struggled in the lockdown with technology, motivation, family commitments and wellbeing: have a peaceful, relaxing summer.
- To all the families who have struggled financially, emotionally and socially: keep in touch because we are here to help.
- To all the people who mourned during the year: we understand and share the pain of loss. Cherish the memories you have and the legacy of those who have gone to Heaven.
- To all those with loved ones overseas in circumstances much more severe than ours here in Aotearoa: remain hopeful and stay in contact with them.
- May this summer break, Christmas Day and new year be a time of new life for you and for all. The Book of Ecclesiastes (a ‘wisdom’ book in the Bible) reminds us that life is about balance:
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak.
It has been a privilege to serve this wonderful community in 2020.
Yours in Christ,
Director of Religious Studies