Advent – a time of great expectation and new beginnings. When we reflect on the Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures,we begin to realise how intensely they were on the lookout for a messiah, for a new beginning in their lives. This came from an acute awareness of the appalling situation in which they lived. They began to anticipate the ‘coming of God.’ For us, this Advent time gives us the chance to look back at the story of God’s people, to reflect on the roots of our faith and the unfolding history of salvation. We too can anticipate the joyful experience of the birth of Jesus and pray for a new birth within ourselves and a new beginning for our world.