On Sunday November 30th, Advent Sunday worship at Wesley chapel was led by Rev Peter Whitaker. The first Advent Candle was lit for the hope we have in God and Jesus. We then sang the first Advent verse,
‘A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright
A candle of hope in November’s dark night.
While angels sing blessing from heaven’s starry sky,
Our hearts we prepare now for Jesus is nigh.
We then sang ‘Hills of the north rejoice’ before Peter led the opening prayers. We then read Psalm 80 responsively which asked the Lord to restore us again before we sang, ‘Hark the glad sound the Saviour comes’. God is in all the turmoil of life on earth. Why are there vales of tears? Why do bad things happen to good people? How do we react when these things happen? Do we wonder if it will ever get better? Advent is God’s answer; Jesus is with us in the mess of the world. God in us, Jesus brings peace. We are called to wait for the Lord, whose day is near. We sang,
Wait for the Lord whose day is near
Wait for the Lord keep watch, take heart’
before and after we heard the reading from Isaiah 54. The potter and the clay is a cry of longing for hope. The answer came in a baby in the stable in a land occupied by the Romans. We sang, ‘Long ago prophets knew’ before Peter preached.
He reminded us of how previous week’s weather was a disappointment, damp and cold and it never got light. We are people of the light and struggle in the darkness, both physically and spiritually in the dark mind of the soul. There is light in the Bible beginning at creation, the encounter with God in the wilderness. Isaiah said that the people who walked in darkness had seen a great light. The Sermon on the Mount showed how light should not be hidden but clearly visible for the world to see. The light is a metaphor for God’s presence, notably when Jesus said he was the light of the world. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. Light can make us feel afraid before God, as light reveals how we fall short, revealing hatred and greed and our part in that evil. We need the light of Christ in us, bringing mercy and seeking justice and love. There is a desperate need for the light of Christ. We allow asylum seekers to drown; zero hour contracts; swindling people out of millions is not considered so much of a crime! The Advent hope reminds us that darkness never completely extinguishes the light. May God’s light give us direction and sustain us in our lives so that we never grow weary of doing what is right to bring in God’s kingdom. Jesus is the light today and everyday through the darkness of this world and may we follow that light.
We then sang, ‘I cannot tell why he whom angels worship’ before Peter led the prayers of intercession. Our worship concluded as we sang, ‘Sing we the Lord who is coming to reign.’