Advent in a time of pandemic
We’ve had a year! And the lead up to Christmas in 2020 will be especially poignant as we consider all that has happened across the globe. The lives lost and those who have succumbed to COVID-19 are all reasons to reflect on what we have and how God is present for us this Christmas.
This year has seen families separated by border closures and Advent is a much-needed reflective time to recognise how the birth of an infant, Jesus, changed the world and his followers are invited to follow his example to help bring peace in a tumultuous era.
As congregations begin to consider what Advent and Christmas might look like online and restrictions have been eased slightly for outdoor Carols celebrations, these four weeks help prepare us to take stock of what an infant coming into the world to save it means for us.
Advent allows two things to happen. First, it allows space and time for grief. As with Holy Week and Easter, there will be considerable grief about physically distanced celebrations of Advent and Christmas. But second, such clarity allows us to move from the weight of that loss to the hope of possibility — from lament to creativity.
So how do we creatively celebrate the birth of Christ? This is a rhetorical question because all year the Uniting Church has seen incredible creatively in the face of the pandemic and not being able to physically meet for much of the year. Ministers have pivoted quickly into the online worship space and we have a huge selection of Churches that have online offerings.
As this year has proved, it takes the gifts of the whole Church for us to be the church.
In 2020 we are possibly more uniquely placed to journey through Advent. If there’s been a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that we have had time to reflect on what is important in our lives and how resilient we are.
Some advent resources to help you on the journey
2021 #ChangeTheHeart Prayer Service25/01/2021
Gospel Yarning 202125/02/2021 - 27/02/2021