Lincoln Advent: 2 December

Advent Prayers, 2 December
Beatitude, St Mary le Wigford

Sing for Joy, O Heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people
and will have compassion on his suffering ones.
(Isaiah 49.13)

The story of our salvation begins with the story of Creation: God speaks the world into being, through sheer delight and love. Too often, the church has told the story of God’s disappointment with the world: we are fallen, we have sinned. It is not that this is not true – we can see the suffering all around us – but to dwell too much on failing may sap us of the very energy we need to work towards a different sort of world. What if, instead of often telling the story of sinfulness, we told a tale of God’s glory? What if, instead of dwelling on the frequency of failure, we made time to celebrate the blessings that God gives?

This Advent, we are reflecting on Christ’s coming: yesterday, today, tomorrow. The claim of our faith is this: God Creates us in Love, through Christ the Word. In case we had missed that (and since it seemed that we had), God’s Love is creative again. Jesus comes, incarnate, to show us what human life looks like, lived in freedom and faith. Then (since we can’t take it all in at once; since we are not yet what we may become) God gives us a promise: life is stronger than death. Dwell in me, and I will dwell in you. Christ will be all in all.

‘Christ yesterday, Christ today, Christ tomorrow’ is a statement about the ultimate goodness of this creation, of human life, and of all our lives. Jesus’ story is not complete till the whole world is redeemed – until the story of sin is past, and each one of us has learned both forgiveness and love.

Today, we pray for the Beatitude project in St Mary le Wigford. Beatitude seeks to provide a place where no-one is excluded. Many of the people who come to Beatitude have heard a lot of stories of sin and pain and death. Today, we pray that they will catch a glimpse of new life and of God’s sheer delight in their coming.

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