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Advent calendar 2023 - 2 December

What does it mean to wait in the season of Advent?

Those who are granted sovereignty are the saints of the Most High and the kingdom will be theirs for ever, for ever and ever.

Daniel 7:18

“Are we nearly there yet?” is the classic question from a child on a car journey. We live in a society of instant communications, where being ‘busy’ is the norm and technological advances mean we can get information faster than ever before. Waiting can sometimes feel hard. 

Yet Advent begins tomorrow and with it comes the gentle invitation to a period of waiting. But what does this mean? 

Bernard of Clairvaux, the twelfth-century abbot and theologian, wrote of “three advents”. The first coming is the one we will celebrate at Christmas: the coming of the Son of God as a human being, born of Mary in Bethlehem. The last advent is Jesus’ promised return at the end of time, when, as the prophet Daniel promises, the saints will possess the Kingdom for ever. 

The advent between these two is the coming of Jesus into our daily lives. Jesus who is present in his Word, the Eucharist, and his spirit within us. Jesus who is present in those we encounter: not least those who are imprisoned, hungry, homeless or far from home. His words are always with us: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)  

In our Advent preparation this year, may we have the wisdom to discern what things truly cannot wait, but require our attention now. Let’s not wait to start building a better world where all people and all creation can flourish. 

Advent prayer

Awaken us, loving Lord, 
to what can’t wait this Advent. 
Reveal to us new possibilities, 
fill us with your hope and joy, 
so we may live with justice and compassion. 
Amen. 

Act

Why not plan an Advent or Christmas fundraiser this festive season or if you're near London join our Nativity Fun Run on 9 December in Clapham Common?

Find out more

Hold an Advent fundraiser

Hold a fundraising event in your parish this Advent! Whether it's carol singing, a Nativity play or just mulled wine and mince pies, find everything you need here.