It's nearly Advent - what might that be about



Another church year has ended, and with Advent we begin a new one.  We have much to look back on and be grateful for. I am grateful for so much. I am very grateful that I was called to be part of my generous parish and for the aroha I receive from all those who are part of it, shown in the wonderful service celebrating 30 years a priest, with such a lovely fish and chip lunch (with great salads and desserts) and a lovely card and gift. 
One gift of Advent is that it is a time to take stock and give thanks for all these things. And it is a time to reflect on our role in the life of our church and in God's mission.
In his book “Immortal Diamond: The Search for our True Self”, Richard Rohr uses the work of medieval Franciscan theologian John Duns Scotus to offer these thoughts on Christmas. Rather than the coming of the Christ in Jesus being an afterthought in response to God’s plan going awry and humanity being bad, Scotus says that the coming of Christ was God’s first thought. The incarnation of God in the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was God’s intentional, pure, gracious unconditional choice and gift of Godself to humanity and creation. Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity in his death, but to change our mind about God. In Jesus we are offered God’s infinite forgiveness and love for each of us and all of us. At Christmas we are reminded of the depths of God’s love for us and the lengths God goes in search for us. We are invited to live in response to that love. In Advent we are invited to reflect on how we respond and how we are stewards of all that God has given us.
Maybe Advent can be a time of refelcting on all that God has given and hearing again the invitation to take stock of our response.
May this Advent be filled with God's peace and goodness

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