My plea to each and every one of you is to take this light out into the world. And to show people through your actions and through your words that it is in fact easier to reach for love, to reach for forgiveness, to reach for grace, to reach for patience. Than it is to reach for hatred and anger, criticism, and gossip.
In the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Good morning, everybody. Well, here we are. Advent one the start of the season, when we look towards the coming of the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the birth of Jesus Christ, God amongst us, the beginning of the season, when we look at how we order our lives, when we perhaps hold, when we hold before God, those things that are not great in our lives, our annual opportunity to think about how God will see us when he comes.
That’s a foretaste of judgment day. It’s a foretaste of how we will be seen and judged in the end of days. And therein, of course, lies the penitential nature of Advent. But in the midst of that, penitence, in the midst of that getting our lives in order, we are also given the hope of Jesus Christ because we know he is coming. We know of the joy that is to come. And so on this first Sunday in Advent, we think about hope and we think about the hope that God has given us in Jesus Christ.
And that’s an awesome, awesome thing. And I think we need that hope now, perhaps more than we have done for a very, very long time. We cannot be together for our public worship today, and that is heartbreaking. But we will be together next week and we will light the second candle on our advent wreath and the light will grow and the following Sunday we will light another candle and then another candle.
And then finally on Christmas Day itself, at midnight mass here, we will light that central white candle. And that growing light, that growing sense of the coming of Jesus Christ fills us with a hope that cannot be diminished by the darkness around us. The darkness that surrounds us in the middle of this pandemic will be banished. Will be cast asunder, the darkness will never win against the light and the love of Jesus Christ. And so, yes, here at St. Anselm, we have flowers.
Yes, here at St. Anselm, we will smile and embrace one another. Here in St. Anselm, we will be ready. Whether or not it is the evening, midnight, cock crow dawn. When Jesus comes, we will be ready. His love will have grown in our hearts and these candles, this light of Christ will grow in our hearts over Advent until it pours out into the world. And listen, it is our job to make sure that those people around us who do not know Jesus Christ recognise that light And recognise that hope, this country is in an incredibly dark place.
We are finding it harder and harder to face the restrictions on our daily lives. We are finding it harder and harder to live with one another in peace and in love. It’s easier to criticize than it is to forgive. It’s easier to be frustrated and angry with what is going on rather than to lift your eyes to heaven. And so Advent my plea to you is to be the light, the coming light, of Christ in the world.
My plea to each and every one of you is to take this light out into the world. And to show people through your actions and through your words that it is in fact easier to reach for love, to reach for forgiveness, to reach for grace, to reach for patience. Than it is to reach for hatred and anger, criticism, and gossip. It is our job, this advent, to banish the darkness. And to show everybody the coming light of Christ on Christmas Day in whatever form that takes this year.
My brothers and sisters, I love you so much. And I am heartbroken that we are not together. But I know that each and every one of you are sat in your homes around the world and that you will go out this afternoon and tomorrow and the rest of this week, and you will show the world what it means to love Jesus Christ in the darkness.