Throughout the first three weeks of Advent our focus is very clearly on the End of Time, and the Second Coming of the Lord - not on the run up to Christmas (that only comes in the last week). If we view Advent as a Season preparing for Christmas these readings will make little sense - and neither will the figure of John the Baptist who appears today: if it was about the preparation for Christmas, then John the Baptist, preaching after Jesus was born, becomes a confusing figure: his role is to preach to us, as he did of old, and to prepare us for the (second) coming of the Lord. Today we have an unequivocal and very graphic reference to the end of time and the Second Coming in the reading from Saint Peter; it is a frightening picture that he paints, and so the first reading offers tender words of comfort to help us understand who is coming, and why we should be ready to meet him. The Gospel focuses on the great Advent prophet, John the Baptist, with his message of preparation - we are invited to get ourselves ready, making a way for the Lord.
Details of all the Christmas services can be found on the Christmas @ All Saints page
ALL SAINTS CHURCH
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