Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Rector's Messages

Message Archive


Advent 2010


"So it happened, that it was while they were in Bethlehem, that she came to the end of her time of waiting"

Luke 2: 6 (adapted from The J.B. Philips translation).


The arrivals area of Halifax Airport is frequently a place of heightened expectation.  International passengers proceed from Canada Customs and into the main arrival area. Those waiting seek familiar faces each time the closed frosted doors are opened. Domestic arrivals are organized a little differently. Passengers descend to the arrivals area on an escalator. Travelers become visible through clear glass sliding doors as the escalator reaches the ground floor. Smiles, waves, and an occasional "there they are" break out among those who wait. Meeting a flight is sometimes just an errand or an easy favor. Other times greeting someone at the airport is the culmination of a time of lengthy waiting and preparation. Clues are often observed in an embrace, or the number of people in a group of greeters, or the sound of excited voices.


"Partners for Refugees" gathered at Halifax airport one evening last autumn to welcome the family we are sponsoring. "Partners" is comprised of people from several Anglican Parishes, including a good-sized contingent from St. James. Members of related sponsoring groups joined us at the airport. The most excited of our company were the extended family of the new arrivers. We sponsors had spent several months in preparation; but it was the extended family of the refugees who had waited with the greatest longing. They themselves were familiar with waiting in a refugee camp where you wait on help from the other side of the world. Waiting is sometimes tangible and filled with activity, sometimes emotional and filled with anticipation and apprehension. Often it is all of these things.


Mary's time of waiting came to an end when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Prophecy, prayer, visions, disruption by imperial edict, dangerous travel, an overcrowded city, and the longing of heaven and earth went before that silent night. No wonder joy was palpable when waiting finally ended.


Advent is our season of waiting. Spend it wisely and prayerfully. When purchasing gifts, donating to charities, preparing your home for visitors, planning meals, rehearsing for concerts, volunteering in the community, in all your tasks take time to pray with thanksgiving for the recipients of your labors. Take time to thank God for the moments of waiting. For joy surely comes when waiting gives way to fulfillment.


The Rev. Canon Rod Gillis Advent 2010


God of all hope and joy, open our hearts in welcome, that your son Jesus Christ at his coming may find in us a dwelling prepared for Him. - A New Zealand Prayer Book.