Advent is a season of waiting. A season of preparation. A season to be inspired.
24 diverse voices have been invited to share some thoughts on one of four themes (Hope, Peace, Joy and Love) each day of during the season of Advent. Each contributor has been given just one theme and no further parameters – they may write as much or as little in the style of their own choosing.
Each author brings their own theology and ideas and this is an opportunity to be inspired by a diverse range of voices as we wait and prepare.
Sign up for reflections direct to your inbox from 1st December.*
The list of guest authors for this advent season is in the process of being finalised. The final list will be equally representative of men and women from a range of backgrounds and theologies. Authors will include;
- Tony Ashley (Minister, Stoke Newington Baptist Church)
- Wendy Bray (Associate Priest, All Saints Clifton; Author)
- Molly Boot (Ministry Intern, St Matthew’s Bethnal Green; Trustee, Greenbelt Festival)
- Ashley Cooper (Principal, Cliff College, Derbyshire)
- Karen Golder (Baptist Minister; Co-Founder of Breathe Communities, Penzance)
- Mike Sherburn (Minister, Watchet Baptist Church)
- Tolu Awojobi (Artist, The JC4Me Collective)
- Alexandra Ellish (Minister, Amott Road Baptist Church; Training and Networking Coordinator, Urban Expression)
- Glen Graham (Minister, Cullompton Baptist Church; Spiritual Director; and Justice Activist)
- Simon Jones (Co-founder, Peaceful Borders; Vice Principal (ministerial), Spurgeon’s College; Deacon Blue fan)
- Lucy Wright (Minister, Eltham Park Baptist Church)
- Hayley Young (Regional Minister, South Wales Baptist Association)
- Luci Counago (Minister, Harlington Baptist Church)
- Patch Davies (Minister, 57 West; Co-founder of Wild & Holy)
- Chris Duffett (Founder The Light College & Collective, Artist)
- Matthew Forsyth (Churches and Volunteers Officer, All We Can)
- Sonia Grandison (Legal Secretary; Leadership Team, Women’s Discipleship Ministries; Church Leader, Chrisma)
- Jack Shepherd (Missional Priest, Up Holland and Dalton)
- Dawn Cole-Savidge (Communities Minister, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church; Leadership of Affirm)
- Geoff Colmer (Regional Minister/ Team Leader, Central Baptist Association; Vice President, Baptist Union of Great Britain)
- Deborah Fielding (Writer; Designer & Maker, With Narrative)
- Dave Griffiths (Families Minister, Anglican Parish, Bournemouth; Wannabe Rockstar).
- Hetty Lalleman (Author; Senior Research Fellow, Spurgeon’s College)
- Steve Tinning (Minister, Leigh Road Baptist Church; Baptist Union’s Public Issues Enabler, JPIT)
Each daily reflection will appear here throughout the advent season or sign up to receive them into direct to your inbox.
- Love AbidesWritten by Dawn Cole-Savidge Love may abide here I will, to abide in loveNot in loves absence I look a my babies overwhelmed by the love I have, literally overwhelmed. It’s almost painful. This time last year my world was changed, I remember feeling terrified, unsure, out of my depth. I’ve watched them grow over … Continue reading Love Abides
- JoyBy Matthew Forsyth At the start of my ministry journey at a local church in South London I remember saying at the start of my sermon ‘I am not here for your happiness but for your joy’ The faces of those in the congregation certainly seemed to reflect what is largely misunderstand about happiness vs … Continue reading Joy
- PeaceWritten by Tolu Awojobi Tolu ‘Teelow’ Awojobi is an artist with The JC4Me Collective. This post is part of an advent series. Twenty-Four diverse voices have been invited to share some thoughts on one of four themes (Hope, Peace, Joy and Love) each day during the season of Advent. Each contributor has been given just … Continue reading Peace
- Hoped For…Written by Ashley Cooper Have you bought all your gifts yet? I imagine that more of our Christmas shopping will be done online this year than any other year. The internet is amazing, but I do miss going round the stores searching for that perfect gift. And when it’s for someone really special, we take … Continue reading Hoped For…
- Love Your EnemiesWritten by Steve Tinning Every Christmas we celebrate that cosmic movement of love. “Love came down at Christmas” we sing (or used to). Acts of love are so stunningly precious – but acts of love for those who all too often don’t reciprocate or even acknowledge that love are quite extraordinary. It’s for this reason, … Continue reading Love Your Enemies
- LoveWritten by Dave Griffiths Love Love is possibly both an overused and underused word at the same time! In the English language we have one clumsy word for Love and one clumsy word for God. Well, most of the time. Let’s try and be a bit more expressive, shall we? Another way to explain Love… … Continue reading Love
- Peace ReflectionWritten by Hayley Young Around this time of year, we often here Jesus referred to as Prince of Peace, this coming from thefamous verse in Isaiah that are fervently read at Carol Services. How would you define peace? Some scholar said it is: “That brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands aroundreloading.” “The absence … Continue reading Peace Reflection
- JoyBy Chris Duffett Chris Duffett is a Baptist Minister, an Artist, and Founder of The Light College & Collective This post is part of an advent series. Twenty-Four diverse voices have been invited to share some thoughts on one of four themes (Hope, Peace, Joy and Love) each day during the season of Advent. Each contributor has … Continue reading Joy
- A Handful of PoemsWritten by Deborah Fielding Love We hold glanceswhen we cannot presshands. The weight lifts for atime.~ 23/11/2020 #BeKindKindness is not justa superficial absenceof hatred. It’s L O V E.~ 15/10/2020 My White SkinMy white skin means thatI have never had to thinkabout my white skin. ~ 27/6/2020 InclusivityWe thought an openinvitation was enough.It was not … Continue reading A Handful of Poems
- Love Came Down at ChristmasWritten by Geoff Colmer In November 2019, I had the privilege of taking the funeral of a friend, Keith Roberts, who was one of those formative influences upon my life over thirty years earlier. He introduced me to a book which has shaped how I understand love: Love’s Endeavour, Love’s Expense, by W.H. Vanstone. On … Continue reading Love Came Down at Christmas
- Joy is ComingWritten by Patch Davies Joy feels hard to find this year. All of the usual advent markers seem absent, or so heavily modified that they barely resemble what we’re used to. From carol services (or any service for that matter), Christingles, nativities, to the light switch-on in town and present-wrapping on the High Street. From … Continue reading Joy is Coming
- JoyWritten by Sonia Grandison And just like that, we’re in the month of December when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It goes without saying, this Christmas will be different from any other in recent memory but still I am grateful and brimming with joy. So, what does joy mean … Continue reading Joy
- Tuning into the Voice that MattersWritten by Simon Jones So, do you remember those halcyon days when you entered a café or bar that was full of people? Everywhere you looked people were talking and your ears were washed by a sea of disconnected words. Well that’s how Isaiah 40 opens. We enter a new scene in the book, 150 … Continue reading Tuning into the Voice that Matters
- Hope, Peace, Joy, Love… and WindowsWritten by Alexandra Ellish “Peace is not just the absence of conflict, but the presence of connection and completion.” This sentence from the Bible Project’s exploration of shalom for week 2 of Advent struck me in a new way this year. The far-reaching and all-encompassing vision of shalom, which touches every aspect of life – … Continue reading Hope, Peace, Joy, Love… and Windows
- PeaceWritten by Lucy Wright At the moment peace seems a word that is far away from a lot of people. Stressed, anxious, afraid, and tired are words that come up in a fairly regular basis if not in everyday in conversation. People don’t feel peace and calm because of an inner pain and struggle. Yet … Continue reading Peace
- Rending the heavens: on hope, judgement and justiceWritten by Molly Boot O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,so that the mountains would quake at your presence… Isaiah 64:1 ‘Get up, God, from your heaven, and do something! Show yourself! Prove you’re there!’ Those of us who follow the lectionarywill have begun advent with a bang,with this passage from … Continue reading Rending the heavens: on hope, judgement and justice
- A Wounded Peace-BringerWritten by Glen Graham The coming of the Prince of peace is one of the major themes of the Advent, Christmas season. But what kind of peace did he bring? His early life was far from peace-filled as his mere presence enflamed the envy of the powerful elite. Yet that same presence transformed the lives … Continue reading A Wounded Peace-Bringer
- Find Love at ChristmasWritten by Hetty Lalleman At the time of Advent and Christmas there are many special ‘Christmassy’ movies on television. Usually they are rather sentimental, and all is ending well! One of the themes that seems to appeal to people, is someone lost coming home, just in time for Christmas. A kind of ‘prodigal son’ theme. … Continue reading Find Love at Christmas
- Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!Written by Jack Shepherd In a lonely and spiritually dry time in my life, I was catching up with a friend and he gave me some surprising and insightful advice. It was simply words from a familiar song. “Don’t forget – you’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in your heart.” This reminded me … Continue reading Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!
- JoyWritten by Luci Counago Joy in English means a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. What is the spiritual meaning of joy? Spiritual meaning of expressing God’s goodness, involves more. It is a deep-rooted, inspired happiness. The Holy Bible says, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’. We can find fullness of joy only … Continue reading Joy
- What Is Hope That We Should Be Mindful of It?Written by Tony Ashley Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, … Continue reading What Is Hope That We Should Be Mindful of It?
- Big HopeWritten by Karen Golder Oh, it’s so easy to have hope while the sun is shining and all is good with the world, but what about when the chips are down, it’s all going wrong and we aren’t sure which way is up? As I write this, I am sitting in Birmingham Children’s Hospital next … Continue reading Big Hope
- Hope InkWritten by Mike Sherburn Hope deferred is disease.Fleas, biting on the flesh of the future.For there’s nothing neutral about hope.Hope is so many things.A coping mechanism, a promise,The longed-for light and the end of the tunnel.A funnel through which fresh water of renewaland justice might flow.To say no to hope is to drop the bruised … Continue reading Hope Ink
- HopeWritten by Wendy Bray This post first appeared in All Saints, Clifton News 2020, used with permission of the author. This morning I planted my tulip bulbs. I lovingly pushed them deep into the compost in three layers in enormous pots. Covered as they are with a layer of gravel for drainage on top, it’s … Continue reading Hope
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