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Advent Resource Guide 2009 - The Lord is near

The Lord is Near – This promise comes from the entrance antiphon of the third Sunday of Advent and is a constant theme in Scripture. Do we experience this nearness of God? Yet the psalms also ask: where is God to be found? At times God can seem painfully absent.
One of the big changes in our lives in recent years is the extraordinary range information we can experience via the internet, TV and radio. We flick from channel to channel, site to site, seeking something to suit our tastes.

Likewise, we can worry and busy ourselves about many things, flicking through life’s options. We can switch off the voices that challenge. We can refuse to be helped or comforted. Our life may be stuck on repeat. And with all this choice, do we ignore what God may be inviting us to consider? Do we ignore God? The Lord is Near is a simple truth but so difficult to connect to, particularly if we cannot stay still long enough to become aware of God’s presence at the heart of our life.
Advent is offering us, as one commentator says, a chance to gaze into the mirror for longer than normal, to look at our life and consider what is happening. How are we getting on with God? Where are we going? Do we dare play the track which we may have skipped over? It can be a part of the Bible or a style of prayer we avoid. It may be contacting someone we have been avoiding. Perhaps it is caring for ourselves in a way we haven’t or confronting an issue that is long overdue to be sorted out.

Even with all this choice today, we can seem more anxious than ever. Jesus invites us not to worry, pointing to the flowers of the field. The flower’s life is simple. It unfurls its petals and turns to face to the One that gives it life. It does not flick through channels or change the station. It does not clothe itself with distractions. The Lord is Near, let us bathe in the Light of Emmanuel, God-with-us.
Download the Advent Resource Guide here: Advent_2009.pdf [660.56 Kb]

To have an advent is to have an arrival. In the Church calendar, the four-week Advent season is a time for observing the ultimate arrival, the coming of Christ into the world. During Advent we celebrate Jesus' birth, and we also look forward to his future arrival, the restoration of all things. We remember together that in him, Light and Love have come.
  • Thursday, 24 November 2011
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