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Advent, a confluence of the past, present and future

Advent is a time of the year where the past, present and future meet as we wait for Jesus’ return. During Advent, the church recalls the story of God’s people in the lead up to the birth of Jesus. It is a celebration of God’s steadfast love and God’s faithfulness to his creation. In it we remember the promises that God made to his people in the Old Testament and the excitement they had in witnessing their fulfillment in the birth of Jesus. But it is not just about the past, the word ‘advent’ comes from adventus the Latin word used to translate the Greek word parousia. The is the term theologians use to speak about the return of Jesus. Advent, therefore, is not just about looking back to Jesu

Generous hospitality important

Last week, I came across a blog written by Andrew – from the One1seven Anglican church Sydney – where he lists five reasons why we should be thinking: “Who can I have over?” I am taking the liberty of reproducing his blog as generous hospitality is so important when it comes to welcoming, incorporating others and building community. 1. Meals connect people together I have become more and more convinced of this – you eat with people who you have genuine relationship with. That is why it was such a big deal for Jesus to go to the houses of the tax collectors and eat with “sinners”. His eating with them was a sign of his connection to them. Thus, his statement: “I have not come to call the righ

Love at the centre of mission

Jesus placed a unique emphasis on God’s love for us human beings – imperfect as we are – and then stated bluntly that we have missed the narrow gate, if we do not love one another as God has continued to love us. In 1347, Saint Catherine of Siena was born in Tuscany, Italy. Nourished by a life of contemplative prayer and mystical experience, she devoted herself to active care for the poor and the sick. One of Catherine’s nuns wrote to her asking how she might adequately thank God for God’s unbounded mercy and love to her. Catherine replied that she would not accomplish her goal by more prayer or greater penance or by building the most magnificent church in the world. Rather, Catherine said,

A celebration of all the saints

Tuesday saw the commemoration of several events; it was the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and, of course, Halloween. The Halloween tradition grew out of the Celtic feast of Samhain. This festival celebrated the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was believed that on that day the dead once more walked the earth. Lanterns were carved, and treats offered to pacify them. In addition, children were dressed as the undead to avoid being taken by them (apparently the undead are easily confused). Naturally, part of acting like the undead involved helping oneself to the treats that were offered. When Christianity arrived,

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