Thought of the week
‘Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help…’
During this season of Advent the emphasis in our Scripture is on Hope. For as Christians we are encouraged to be comforted and though we fail, God will show us mercy. God is forgiving – just as often as the people of Israel were exiled many times to distant lands, so too were they guided back to their own land by the Providence of God – the people enter the Jordan waters to receive John’s Baptism. We are Baptised in to the Everlasting Life of Jesus, the same Jesus who leads us through the waters of baptism into the freedom of the Children of God.
What a privileged people we are and how do we respond? As we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Our Redeemer and Saviour, how might we best prepare? Surely, we must, as a minimum, reconcile ourselves to Him. We must fall on our knees adore Him and plead for forgiveness. Let us plan to take part in our Advent Reconciliation Service on Monday 18 December. Before we begin to focus on our own celebrations in the company of family and friends, let us really consider our situation and look to those less fortunate than ourselves. We have a practical opportunity of helping to feed the hungry and clothe the naked who live among us.
We can support our Island Parish SVP Christmas Appeal. Do you know at this time of year, each week, more than fifty people visit our Food Bank – and they individually represent families – we spend over £1,000 each month on food and similar sums on electricity and special vouchers to help alleviate their hardship – afflicted, confused, damaged, young and elderly – our very own neighbours, brothers and sisters in Christ. Will you please think of them and support the SVP ‘Giving Trees’ around our Churches? Will you please consider making a regular donation and bring supplies to the church for us to distribute in your name?
Despite the apparent affluence of our Island, we live close to poverty and hardship. Every night there are people sleeping in car parks in St Helier. With your help and with your prayers we can give families hope. We can remind ourselves, as we make personal reparation, as we prepare to gaze with hope into the eyes of our Saviour, the Christ Child, confident that we have not ignored Him, for as we were reminded only a few short weeks ago, “Then the virtuous will say to Him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; thirsty and gave you drink…? Only then can we justify our hope that we will be called, ‘Come to me whom my Father has blessed, and take for your heritage the Kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.’