It is here once again my friends. It is Advent! The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.
This Advent, some of us in the USA are still reflecting on the recently-held elections of November. For millions of people who live in this country as well as outside, the results were very clear and a new President, Joe Biden will be sworn in come January 20, 2021. Not only so, but for the first time ever, a female and first ever woman of color will be sworn in as Vice President of these United States of America! This is a first which ought to be celebrated. As will be expected, there will be opposition, there will be a dissatisfaction with the way this had panned out. That does not mean that people should be declaring that the elections were rigged, without any credible proof of such. Neither is it helpful for this to persist when there have been countless numbers of lawsuits which have not proven that there were such irregularities, or not to the degree that some have stated. Previous administrations have conceded when the signs have been clear that the other team won. For one thing, the election has proven that the system does work, despite the obvious shortcomings of the same. Still there are those who refuse to accept the result. Let us see how long this will go on. It is time to move on!
This year has been a rough one for a lot of folks. The Summer of 2020 will not be forgotten by the Jenkins family, The Thompson, The Christie, Robinson and Taylor families. In July of 2020 I learned of the passing of my younger brother, Lenroy Thompson (Lenky). We had lost three other family members before or around the same time. Covid-19 was responsible for the services not been held sooner than they were held and the need for family members in England and the USA to travel to Jamaica
Travelling to Jamaica was an ordeal, similar to traveling from other places. Edward Jenkins Jr and I, travelled from New York. We had to cancel our flights from the scheduled time of departure to a later date, because the results of our Covid 19 Test did not get back to us in time to travel. Then, when we were cleared to travel the same morning, we learned that EJ’s permission to travel expired that very morning when we were about to board the flight. I had to send EJ back home and go ahead of him to Jamaica. He arrived in Jamaica three days later.
My son and I were able to see my mother, his Cousins, Uncles, Aunts and an army of family and friends, including family that he had never met before. We were able to participate in my brother’s service of thanksgiving as well as the burial service of one of three other family members who also passed. It was a bitter-sweet time spent in Jamaica and I am glad we were able to go, despite the setbacks and the inconveniences.
The Jenkins family would like to express our deepest thanks to the entire church for your kindness throughout the year. You have been extremely supportive to all of us and we are forever grateful to all of you. We love you with the love of the Lord. We look forward to Christmas, with hope, despite what the future might hold. We believe that God is always with us and we move forward as always, leaning on His everlasting arms. Were it not for the prayer conference line which was expanded some time in March during the ravages of this pandemic, I do not know how I would make it. I do not know how my wife and the rest of the family would have made it. I know also by the testimonies some of you share on this prayer line, that it has been a source of strength to you as well. I thank God for that line and my wife and I, along with all of you who log on at 7:00 in the morning Monday to Saturday and again at 8:00 PM on Tuesday evenings. Let us keep the prayer wheel turning, keep the fire burning and wrestle with the powers of darkness until the Master comes.
We wish you all a merry Christmas, a prosperous New Year and a Happy Kwanzaa and a prosperous, healthy and blessed New Year. May God strengthen, equip and undergird you, may He extend your territory, and make you all a blessing in 2021 and further. Remember this: God blesses you in order for you to be a Blessing.
With profound love, appreciation and respect,
Rev Edward L Jenkins and Family