Advent calendar reflection for 11 December

Flying birds above herd of animals near trees

Birds fly above a herd of animals.

“Elijah has come already and they did not recognise him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands.” 

Matthew 17:12

Jesus and his disciples descend from the mountain, where Jesus has just been transfigured. Despite the experience of seeing Jesus in glory, the disciples are clearly still trying to make sense of what has just happened and who Jesus is. Is Jesus the Messiah? Will Elijah not return first? 

Elijah has already come, explains Jesus. John the Baptist is the Elijah who has returned to prepare the way for the Messiah, but he has not been recognised. Like the disciples we can sometimes be slow to recognise the reality before us and can perhaps be tempted to the easier path of rejecting the challenge that asks us to live differently.  

One of the greatest challenges we face is that of climate change. As we have seen, it’s a reality that Nomita and her family face every day, living on the southwest shore of Bangladesh – one of the most cyclone-affected, flood-prone places on Earth.  

Each one of us is called to live differently, so that we can play our part in healing the earth. In a joint statement for the protection of creation, Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called for a united response: 

“All of us—whoever and wherever we are—can play a part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation. Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.” 

This Advent is a time for us to open ourselves to the unexpected ways God seeks to come into our lives and prepare ourselves to rise to the challenges he brings. 

Advent prayer

Loving God,
you call us to solidarity with the earth and all its creatures.
Help us to recognise your presence,
and respond to your challenge.
In Jesus' name,


Stand in solidarity with those affected by the climate crisis. Give to the Advent appeal today.

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