My Dear Church members and friends of Wallneuk North, Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 I would like to take this opportunity to wish you on behalf of my family, a very blessed Christmas and a happy New Year 2013 in advance. Advent is a waiting time. Very soon we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of us aren't very good at waiting. Waiting in long shopping checkout lines, waiting to find a parking spot, sometime waiting at the traffic light or opening an attachment can be hard. Despite my rather low expectations of technology, I should confess that I am not a very patient person.

 The younger among us can hardly wait for Christmas to come! And many dislike waiting through what the Church has historically called Advent.

In the ancient Church, Advent was a time of fasting just like lent season and abstaining from public festivity in order to prepare for the holy day of Christmas. But it's hard to wait, isn't it?! It's hard to wait for God. We are often in an incredible hurry. But God is not. Have you discovered that? We want things to happen now if not sooner. God seems to take His time. Some of you are waiting on news which will dramatically impact your future. Some of you are waiting on job applications. Some of you are waiting for your prayers to be answered -- at least to be answered in the way that we think God should answer them.

All this waiting is difficult. But even in the waiting, God is at work in our lives. Can we accept that? Can we trust that is true? But there's nothing quite like waiting for the arrival of a baby. Even while the expectant mother waits, God is at work within her forming and shaping the life of that baby.  Conception is the promise. Delivery and birth fulfil that promise. But between promise and fulfilment, there are months of waiting, expecting and planning, along with months of developing discomfort, uncertainty and even anxiety. Waiting is hard. Luke's story of the first Advent is about two pregnant couples, two sets of parents-in-waiting.

C.S. Lewis wrote: “The Christian faith is a thing of unspeakable joy. But it does not begin with joy, but rather despair. And it is no good trying to reach the joy without first going through the despair.” Our only hope was what the prophet begged for: “Oh, that you would tear open the heavens and come down!” Isaiah 64:1

We hope a Saviour is coming, of course, to be born in us again. Let us open our hearts and welcome our Lord Jesus Christ to come in us as Emmanuel God with us. 

Your Minister in His Love,

Peter Gill