Sunday, 30 November 2008

First Sunday of Advent

The first candle of the Advent wreath is lit, and a new litrugical year has begun. It's tempting to see the Advent wreath as a sort of 'countdown to Christmas', but this misses the meaning of the season. Advent is not just about preparing for the great feast of the Lord's birth; it is really an invitation to prepare for the second coming of Christ, and to make ourselves better prepared for all the ways in which we meet God in our day-to-day lives.

It's a fairly chilly start to the new year, with Lancaster's temperature seemingly a little below freezing point today!

The west side of Cathedral House, still in shadow this morning, very definitely proclaims that winter is here. The season brings its own beauty, however, as can be seen below. Perhaps the long shadows of winter - and the Advent wreath - remind us of the great theme of Advent: the rising light of Christ, the coming of the One who 'visits us like the dawn from on High' (Lk. 1:78).