At our joint service on Advent Sunday, Michael Paterson reminded us that “for Christians, Advent marks the time of waiting for God to interrupt history with a divine revolution that turns the status quo on its head and shakes everything up” and illustrated from history how both Methodist and Episcopalian churches made a difference to their communities. His sermon, which we encourage you to read in full at this link, concluded:
This Advent, I have a deep longing for our community – for the people of Rosyth – to know that the doors of this church are not closed, that this church is very much open, very much alive and kicking, and not just on a Sunday when they see cars coming and going.
But I want them to know that we are open because we have earned a reputation for doing what Jesus did, for rolling up our sleeves and mucking in with what’s going on around us, for supporting all those who are in need, and for doing whatever it takes to know that their lives matter.
This Advent I long for the community around us to know without a shadow of doubt that this church is very much open because we match every hour spent in church with an hour spent in community service, every hymn we sing with some practical expression of our faith, every baptism with some act of radical inclusion, and every act of communion with food for the poor.
Just imagine what difference it could make to our community if that was how we lived for the next year?
And just imagine what difference it would make to each of us as Christians if we closed the gap between what we profess and how we live – between creed and deed.
So how about it friends? This Advent, let’s honour the legacy our Methodist and Episcopalian forebears have left us. Let’s make them proud of us. But above all let’s honour God by doing our little bit, this Advent, to help his kingdom come. Amen.