Christmas at Abbotsleigh
A season to look back and forward
This week we celebrate Christmas; we do it so early for the sake of our school year. However, Christians usually recognise the month before Christmas as the season of advent. The dictionary tells us that an advent is the arrival of a notable person or thing. Most often for our girls this seems to be the advent of a new series on Netflix or when a new album is dropped. Yet the season of advent invites us to look backward – back to the gift of Jesus on the first Christmas and forward to his promise that one day he will return.
It is a little like our present experience at Abbotsleigh. We look back with thankfulness for the leadership of Mrs Poole and Dr Wilson Reynolds, whilst we look forward to Mrs Krimmer and Mrs Rennie joining us. I encourage you to do both, and in doing so honour the leaders that God has provided for us.
Yet, our present experience only echoes the wonderfulness of Jesus' advent. We look back to an extraordinary gift; he is the God of the universe who came that first Christmas in human form that we might know God's love and forgiveness. We look forward with extraordinary hope. He promises that one day he will bring an end to all war, famine and poverty, all sin and pain and will gently wipe every tear.
This Christmas, my prayer for each family is that the love of the Lord Jesus might fill your hearts, that his hope might shape your vision of 2017 and that trust in him might lead you to living life to the full, a life that goes on into eternity.
For our final Christmas Chapel service this week, we were joined by Christian singer, songwriter and scholar Tanya Riches who performed for the girls the first song she wrote at 15, 'Jesus, What a Beautiful Name'. You can watch Tanya's heartwarming performance below.