Advent Course This year during Advent, we will be studying ‘Living in Hope’ which is produced by York Courses. We will meet online to discuss the course on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm starting on 25th November. If you would prefer to not join us online, I can get you a booklet so you can follow the course in your own time. Everyone is welcome to join us, whether you are living in Aughton, Bickerstaffe or beyond. The course booklets are £3.80.
‘Living in Hope’ by Catherine Fox
Session 1. Living well Session 2. Dying well Session 3. Hell-bent on destruction? Session 4. Going to Heaven when we die?
This advent course is a chance to have a think about what it means to live well, and to die well. We are people of history and people of hope. We look back to the Bible to see where we’ve come from, and we look forward in hope to what lies ahead.
But there are times when looking ahead is frightening. Even looking around can be a source of anxiety. The times seem dark, and the political situation unstable. The challenge of climate change looms larger each decade. What hope do we have? How can we live well in the face of current events?
Advent has traditionally been the season of hope and of preparation. We look back, as people of history, to Christ’s first coming. But we look forward too, as people of hope, to his second coming. Every time we repeat the creed we say that we believe ‘he will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead.’ Is judgement something to look forward to—or to dread? What happens when we die?
These are big themes to get our teeth into. Historically, they’ve been referred to as ‘The Four Last Things’ (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell). But as we explore them in the light of Christ, we’ll begin to see that the last things are also the first things; that everything holds together in the one who is the alpha and omega, the first and the last. And who knows?—we may find that the art of living well, and the art of dying well, are not that far apart at all.