Advent Day 14: Rev Jade Ableitner reflects on her first Advent as a minister

Rev Jade Ableitner was ordained and inducted this year into Eaglesham Parish Church in East Renfrewshire. Here she reflects on her first Advent in her new role and the hope which Jesus offers us all. Jade lives with her husband Eric and toddler Frederick.

Rev Jade Ableitner

I write this article after a very festive weekend. On Saturday morning I attended the local primary school fair, which was a great opportunity to meet many from the school and community in person, along with picking up some beautiful hand-crafted items. In the evening, I then had the great honour of being asked to turn on the village Christmas tree lights. I had thought perhaps the latest X Factor contestants must have been busy but in fact the village community had seen this as a lovely opportunity to welcome my family and I into the community. It was a wonderful night, with many gathering to listen to our local community choir perform, drink mulled wine, and eat warm delicious mince pies, all donated by our local restaurant. And the kids were full of sugar...I mean joy…as they enjoyed some free sweeties. I was even given the opportunity to speak to the large crowd of folk that gathered that night; telling them about all our organisations in the church and the Christmas services coming up.

The following day was our first Sunday of Advent, and as I walked up to the chancel with Annie (one of the children of our church) who put our Children's Bible on our stand, I couldn't help but feel so incredibly blessed that I get to minister in this community. It's a special time of year, and as Annie and I lit the first advent candle together we're reminded that we don't do this journey alone.

Having been ordained and inducted into Eaglesham Parish Church in September of this year, it wasn't long before I turned my attention to planning for our Christmas services. Though I didn't do this alone; I am very blessed that I am surrounded with members of my church family who are extremely active in church life. So, as a team, we were able to come together and ensure that our plans were in line with the Church of Scotland COVID regulations. And, no, things won't be just as they were before, notably having to sing with masks on. But God still hears our voices sing out to Him in worship, and we sense that togetherness as we meet in the safest possible way. We do this all because we are called to love God and love one another.

The hope we have in this baby boy born in a manger, is a life-changing gift. In this season of Advent we prepare to receive that hope found in Christ, so that our lives can serve Him and be changed for the better. My sermon on the first Sunday of Advent was entitled 'Hope will shine on', and I pray that you will accept the hope found in Jesus Christ, so that His light can shine on in you.

From my church family to yours, a very Merry Christmas and God bless you all.

Rev Jade

Sign up for this year's calendar

Light in the Darkness is the theme of the Church of Scotland's 2021 Advent calendar.

We invite you to sign up for a daily email or check our online Advent calendar for some daily inspiration.

Throughout the season, we'll bring you stories, videos and prayers that highlight how church members around the country are celebrating the birth of Jesus and sharing their faith, hope and love with everyone in their communities.

Follow along with this year's Light in the Darkness Advent calendar.