Advent Reflection from Fr Simon FirthMonday 21st December 2020
As we light the fourth candle of our advent wreaths we come to the realisation that the Lord Jesus, Light of the World, is very close indeed. The Hope of the first candle is realised in the LOVE of G-D in the second candle which gives us the JOY of the third candle and now we see the advent of true PEACE in the fourth.
The fourth candle is sometimes known as the Angel’s candle and the Peace Candle. We know that great messages come from Angels to Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph. The Annunciations of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus fill us with those great sentiments of HOPE, LOVE, JOY, and PEACE. These sentiments are needed in these darker days most especially. With the coming of Christ and the lighting of the 5th candle in 5 short days time we see darkness receding and the light taking over.
The days will soon be lengthening and the arrival of Jesus Christ Prince of Peace brings new light and new hope even in these days of pandemic. With the hope of a vaccine for millions there does indeed appear to be light at the end of what has been a very long tunnel. Let us allow Christ to be that light. We remember that good ends can come out of bad beginnings and that stars do indeed shine only in darkness.
We will soon hear angels bring “good tidings” to shepherds that in the City of David a Saviour is Born for us and that HE is Christ the Lord. The Lord will remind us in the course of His ministry that in this world we will experience troubles – no truer word seems to have been spoken when we reflect on 2020 – but he continues “Be of good cheer, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).
I’ve been struck this Advent by the final verse of that great Te Deum hymn, Holy GOD we praise Thy Name :
Spare thy people Lord we pray,
By a thousand snare surrounded.
Keep us without sin today,
Never let us be confounded.
Lo I put my trust in Thee,
Never Lord abandon me.
He never abandons us. He comes to us and even when we appear to be surrounded we can place our total trust in His love and Mercy. May the coming of the Christ-child fill you and your families with the HOPE, LOVE, JOY, and PEACE that have lit our way this advent.
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