Happy New Year!
In case you think I’m getting ahead of myself, yesterday was the first Sunday of
Advent, the first day of the new church year. We all hope it will be much better
than the one we’ve just had! I love the season of Advent, and I’m sorry that it
tends to be swamped by Christmas and scarcely noticed. It’s a time of waiting.
We tend not to like waiting, and I hate to keep other people waiting. It always
seems to take me a long time to get my shopping into bags at Morrisons, and
the other day I apologised to the checkout lady for taking so long - there was
someone waiting behind me. “Don’t worry, you’re fine.” She said. “I always
feel as if I’m holding people up.” I explained. “Well,” she replied “My Dad
always said: ‘If they’d started out five minutes earlier, they’d have missed
you.’” That made me laugh and realise that having to wait isn’t necessarily
such a terrible thing.
This double issue of the Villager covers not only Advent, but also Christmas and
Epiphany. Reluctantly, I’ve decided not to have a Christmas Carol Service this
year. I’ve very sorry about this, but quite apart from the difficulty of ensuring
social distancing etc. there seems to be little point in a carol service at which
people are not allowed to sing! There will be TV and radio services with carols
to sing along with, I’m sure. Details of other services at our church can be
found elsewhere in this “Villager” - notably our Christingle service by Zoom at 6
pm on Christmas Eve with Dave the Donkey!
This year the waiting won’t stop with Christmas; it will feel as if Advent is going
on and on. We’re going to have restrictions made necessary by Covid-19 until
the promised vaccines again allow us to do all the things we used to take for
granted. We’ve always been known for the warmth of our welcome at Trowse
Church, and just to be able to have coffee together again after services will be
wonderful - pray that it won’t be too long now!
Advent comes at the darkest time of year when the days are shortest and the
weather is cold, but it is focussed on the coming of light and life with the birth
of Jesus, full of anticipation for better times ahead. Despite the present
difficult circumstances, God is with us. I wish you and your loved ones the
comfort and joy of Christmas, and every blessing for 2021.
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:5