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A Quiet Word – November 2021

November is certainly a month of contrasts and of different
experiences, emotions, celebrations, and commemorations.
We experience longer periods of darkness in the afternoons
and evenings as the clocks have gone back. Then we
experience light as fireworks colourfully light up the dark night sky and their noise
as whizzes, screams and bangs resound all about us on Guy Fawkes night on
November 5th (and indeed for the next fortnight or so it seems!) Then after all
this noise we have a time of silence and quiet reflection on Remembrance Day
(11th November) and Remembrance Sunday (14th November) when we pause to
remember all those many people, who have died in wars past and present. Then
in contrast to war, there is World Kindness Day on 13th November, which
celebrates and promotes kindness in all its forms, something we can all
participate in by showing kindness to a friend, a neighbour or to a stranger as we
go about our everyday lives.

Interestingly the above are just a small snapshot from a website list of events,
celebrations, and special days in November 2021 that I came across and while this
also included the Hindu Diwali (the Festival of Lights) and Jewish Hanukkah
celebrations, it had one notably surprising omission that begins this year on
Sunday 28th November, which is the Christian season of Advent. Advent is
drawing near and so too is Christmas and our thoughts are perhaps immediately
drawn to the busyness and perhaps stress from just thinking about all the many
things we need to do. But Advent delightfully offers us an invitation to pause,
slow down, to rest and remember. The word Advent comes from the Latin word
adventus, which means coming…a translation of the Greek word Parousia, which
means “presence” or “arrival.” Advent is a season of preparation of the arrival of
Jesus. It is an opportunity for us all to rest in His presence and remember His
Story. It’s a season of expectation and hope…a season to intentionally celebrate
the coming of our saviour. As we look forward and begin to get ready for
Christmas and to make our preparations, let us take time during this Advent to
rest and remember the true reason for it. Let’s remember and joyfully celebrate
the coming of Jesus and use this as an opportunity to be angels, God’s heavenly
messengers, and pass on the good news that his exciting arrival brings. Jesus is
the Light of the World, and He brings good news of hope, peace, joy, and love to
a dark world. Jesus loves you!

We remember in love and pray for those who are unwell or have ongoing health
concerns at this time and especially those in the church family and fellowship who
have been recently touched by covid-19. We pray for God’s special touch of healing
and His protection on them and their families. And we pray for rest and
refreshment for those we know who have had a busy and challenging time at home,
at work or at school recently. May they and you know God’s sustaining power in
the weeks ahead.

Blessings and love,