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Nov 30, 2012

Fr Freddy's December message


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Category: General
Posted by: suzi hedgecock

“Ye servants of the Lord each for your Master wait”

So goes an ancient hymn.  Waiting, as we know, is so much part of our life and sometimes can make us fearful and apprehensive.  The friend says easily enough: “Wait for me at such a place and at such a time,” and he has only to be a few minutes late for anxiety and disappointment to overwhelm us.

We wait for an appointment or interview and sit in a row with those also waiting.  We wait patiently at the check-out and in the communion queue.  We wait to grow up; we wait for the best news and the worst news.  In Beckett’s play, two men sit famously on a park bench.  One says, “Let’s go,” the other says, “We can’t”.  “Why not?”  “We’re waiting for Godot”.  This person never turns up, so the speakers never leave the spot, never do anything except wait.  Mr Micawber waited philosophically for something, not someone, “to turn up”.  The prophet Micah said simply, “I will wait for God.”  And this is what we have to do in Advent, wait for God.

Not as some fearful deity from the mountain top, but as a child; how strange.  Who names this child?  An old poet calls him Adonai, Root of Jesse, Lord of David’s Key, Dayspring, Desire of Nations, and his mother calls him Jeshua or Jesus.

And so we begin another church’s year; we shall do it this year with an ADVENT CAROL SERVICE on the 9th at 5 pm.  Members of the South Dartmoor Mission Community, of which we are part, comprising the parishes of Sparkwell, Cornwood, Harford and Ivybridge, will meet in Cornwood Church, accompanied by their singers, to sing songs of promises and waiting.  An “adventure” Advent which stems from the same root.  All very mysterious and at the same time, exciting, as we prepare for Christmas.

In Advent we personally draw near to God, what an adventure for God!  What an adventure for us!  Where will it all lead?  God ventures towards us, we venture towards him.  It is a delight of the Advent season, this gentle, mutual approach between God and humankind and the scripture readings during this season talk about the ruthless, often mindless, asset-stripping of our spiritual lives.  Our riches are our souls, our spirits, our tenderness and compassion, our sensitivity, a wealth which can so easily be torn from us by the hard materialism that Christmas has become.  We must earn, of course, we must plan, we must be provident.  There are mortgages, pensions, supermarkets, comforts, careers; all these things “wait” too for our attention.  How much attention will we give them – enough to rob us of our spiritual assets?  It is a question which Advent asks.  So we travel the rough road with Mary and Joseph and arrive, always ill-prepared, for what is to happen; anxious yet happy, confused yet trusting.  Eventually, we believe, all will be made plain.

This Advent season of reverence, strange word.  Call it a kind of loving care, but understandable awe, when local shepherds, the gypsies of their time and foreign potentates, country folk and great folk, arrive at a makeshift nursery and kneel down – in awe.  The shepherds sing – a song is all they have to give, Kings give presents.  We do both – sing and give presents.  Try asking in one of the high street stores: “Have you something suitable for the Christ child?”

Wishing you a very happy Christmas,

Fr Freddy


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