Here we are in Advent again. I enjoy Advent – I like the quiet thoughtful aspect of the season. One tends to get caught up too easily in the rush and tear of Christmas preparations – the frenzy of shopping for gifts and preparing food. Advent is all about waiting patiently and being prepared – not for the arrival of friends and relatives or having enough food and drink to last through the holiday (though that has to be considered!) – but for the gift that God gave us, his son Jesus Christ. We also have to be prepared (as Maurice reminded us on Sunday morning) for the Second Coming; for the Day of Judgement. Have we been leading good Christian lives? Have we loved God with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all our minds? Have we loved our neighbours as ourselves? Or, if we were suddenly asked to account for ourselves, would we be found wanting? I love the beautiful words of the Collect for Advent Sunday written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in the 16th century.
‘Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal.’
Elinor and I made our own Advent Crown at home. I had a look in the garden for greenery to decorate it but could find hardly any. Our hedges have been cut and there weren’t any branches that hadn’t had all the best bits cut off. A lot of the ivy has gone from the garden this year as well. Fortunately, I visited Mum on Friday to deliver some shopping (which included candles for her Advent Crown) and while I was there she invited me to forage for useful evergreen in her garden.
I have to provide two dozen mince pies for a carol service next Sunday evening. I have collected the ingredients for the shortcrust pastry and the filling and now I will have to find the time to bake them! This is the post from last year where I described how I make them.
The next few weeks are going to be quite busy and it will be hard to set aside enough time for quiet meditation and prayer.
Elinor breaks up from college at the end of next week and next Tuesday evening Richard and I will be attending a Parent’s Evening where we will meet her tutors. The pop-up design of Red-Riding-Hood and the Wolf she made at the beginning of term has been put on display in a gallery in Norwich. We must go to see it!
We have someone coming to see us tomorrow to discuss the replacement of our garage doors and we have the gas man coming to service our gas boiler on Friday. We believe that we need to replace the boiler quite soon and we will have to ask his advice. I will have to take my mother Christmas shopping soon – this will need to be carefully planned as she doesn’t have as much energy and strength as she thinks she has!
We have a trip up to Manchester planned for one weekend and I hope to visit my sister in Kent as well. She is a paramedic and is on stand-by from now until the 28th December and can’t visit us until after Christmas. There is another carol service on the 20th December and I will no doubt have to provide mince pies for that as well. Richard and I have tickets for a Carols by Candlelight Concert in Halesworth! Alice comes for Christmas and will arrive quite late on Christmas Eve and will need collecting from the station.
So what with all that and the usual round of our own chores to do we will be kept quite busy.
Thanks for visiting!