Well today is the beginning of the new liturgical year. Now I wonder if you know what I mean by liturgical? The dictionary definition is ‘relating to liturgy or public worship’ which means the order and words we use as we worship each week. So our new year begins with a time of preparation for the coming of the Christ child. This time is called Advent and is the 40 days prior to Christmas.
The things that we do to signify Advent are to change the colours in the church to be either purple or blue, we will have the Advent wreath with 4 purple candles and 1 white candle – we’ll light one of these each week – we will also have a special Advent song that we’ll sing each week. Our readings will help us focus on the coming of Jesus and our overall theme for Advent is “Light”, the coming of the Light of the World.
We begin with words from the prophet Habakkuk. It’s not a book we read a lot from, and Habakkuk is considered to be one of the 12 minor prophets of the Bible. It is thought to be written just before the Babylonians’ siege and capture of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. Paul draws from the writing of Habakkuk in the letters to the Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews.
It’s a really different book and begins with Habakkuk openly questioning the wisdom of God, asking how long must he, and the supposedly the people, call for help before God saves them from violence? The answer does not inspire Habakkuk saying that the Babylonians are coming to spread fear and terror.
The end of our reading, in fact the end of the book of Habakkuk, states that no matter what happens Habakkuk ‘will still be joyful and glad because the Lord God is my saviour.’ God will keep us safe and give us strength. God is sending the Light of the world to be with us. As we move into Advent we need to look for the presence of God in all that is around us and watch for the coming of the light.
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