Luke 1:26-33, 46-50

Today is the first in Advent, the start of the year in the Christian calendar. During this season, we give attention to the great advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love. Today is the Sunday of Hope. This advent, we are being guided by Mary’s song of praise, the Magnificat, recorded in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. We’ll consider how Mary’s song points us towards hope, peace, joy and love.

Today, we are also reporting back on our year of review. At the beginning of this year the deacons and pastors invited the church into a season of listening to God and listening to each other, engaging with the question ‘What is God inviting Central to do in 2019 and beyond?’ Today on the first day of the traditional Christian year, and on the Sunday of Hope, it seems good and right to celebrate what we’ve heard and look to the year ahead.