The darkest and the coldest time

Is also the best time


At the departing times

The coldest times

of our lives;

 At the times of excitement

and the times of expectance.

At the times of intersection

when hard choices

have to be made.

Be with us

Prince of peace.

Kate Mcllhagga



We are now coming to the time of year, when the light disappears from our land. The bright sunlight of summer has been subsumed into the glorious colours of a riotous feast of autumn colour.


Slowly now the leaves are falling from the trees and bowled down the streets by strong gusts of equinoxal gales, and as the leaves fall bare branches are exposed and all the colours slowly fade into a uniform grey. Life withdraws into the earth and the very pulse of life slows down.


As a special holy gift for this time of year we are given the fast of advent.


Sadly, this gift has been lost in this culture as an all intrusive commercialism seeks to extend Christmas ever earlier into a feast and frenzy of consumer spending.



Advent is a time of quietly awaiting the coming of Christ, it is a time of withdrawing our energy from the mad treadmill of busy life and to make room in the darkness to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming king. A time to attune our bodies to the slowing rhythms of the natural world around us, A time to say no to our bodies and yes to the coming Christ. A time to stand on tiptoe eagerly awaiting the time when not only our bodies but the whole of creation will be redeemed and made new.


We wait for a God who does not stay aloof of His creation but enters in to all the mess and chaos we have made of His beautiful world. He enters this world as a weak and vulnerable baby to redeem it, and at His perfect time He will enter as conquering Lamb to overcome everything which spoils our world to remake heaven and earth as the perfect dwelling place where He rules in the midst of His people.


Most of all Christ wants a personal advent into the hearts and lives of each of His children, Christ breaks through to shine His light into our personal darkness to make His dwelling in the very centre of our lives.


Advent is a time of special rhythms of prayer so join us in St John’s at 8 am on a Friday as we spend an hour simply listening to what God is saying to us, or read through one of the many excellent Advent mediations which are readily available.


Ian Hempshall