If we go into town, one thing is plain for all to see – Christmas is coming – and this is what so many people are preparing for. Where are you up to in all your Christmas preparations?!

From early December, St Mary’s church will be wonderfully decorated, ready for Christmas (how tall will this year’s Christmas Tree be?!), to help set the scene for the numerous Carol Services and Events we are privileged to host.

Amongst all the decorations is a small but significant decoration consisting of a wreath of candles (the ‘four candles’ is my favourite!), that reminds us of another season we journey through before we get to Christmas – the season of Advent.

This season is hugely important because it’s an opportunity for us to think about the promise in Scripture that Jesus will return again one day. Everything about this second coming of Jesus will be such a contrast to his first – a baby, poverty, a manger, a cave in Bethlehem the first time; but his second coming will be one where all of humanity will see Jesus’s great power and heavenly glory. At this time, Jesus will gather everyone together and administer His perfect judgement of all, and He will banish evil, sin and death for ever! Hallelujah!

The question is are you ready to welcome Him when He arrives? This Advent time, can I encourage you to reflect on this truth and then do something about it.

If you want to rediscover who Jesus really is, please join us on our next Alpha course in January.

If you want to explore in greater depth who we are in Christ, then why not join our new course called ‘Freedom in Christ’, also starting in January.

May this Advent and Christmas time mark a turning point in all our lives.

With every blessing at this festive time,