Welcome to the season of Advent, a season of waiting, watching and hoping.

On this first Sunday we light the candle of hope. We remember the many problems in the world that made it necessary for God to send the Messiah among us. We also remember the warnings and promise of Jesus: warnings not to get overly alarmed or worried at the state of the world – and the promise that the kingdom of God is near. We are to look for Jesus in the midst of our struggles.

For the next two Sundays we are also encouraged to bring gifts for others to place under the empty Christmas tree –signs of hope and love.