Ashes And Beauty: How A King was Born
The celebration of the season of Advent (which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas day) dates back to the fourth century. It is a time that focuses our attention on Jesus Christ’s birth and ministry as well as his Second Coming when he will return to redeem all of creation and rule with all power and authority. Since we can’t anticipate the day or the hour of Christ’s return, we are filled with both a sense of joyful expectation and humble reverence, with our spiritual focus being on lives of prayer and preparation. The church has used the season of Advent (which means “coming” or “arrival”) to focus and reflect on the particular themes of John the Baptist’s preparation for the ministry of Christ, the Annunciation to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus, Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, and the final judgment. You will notice themes such as anticipation, pain, hope & adoration. Throughout the season we are constantly reminded that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.
These themes are based on the Service of Lessons and Carols, which was first drawn up by E.W. Benson, later Bishop of Canterbury, for use in the Cathedral at Truro. It was adapted from ancient sources as a Christmas Eve service and was first celebrated on Christmas Eve in 1880. It was later modified for use at King’s College in Cambridge, in 1918, by its then Dean, Reverend Eric Milner-White. Now December 2017, Apostles can be pulled into this story to draw the people of New York into the greater gospel story starting with the Christ child – JESUS.