Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Last Sunday marked the end of one season in the Church calendar, a time Father John referred to in his sermon as "the interminable Trinity". This Sunday then marks the beginning, not just of a new liturgical season, but the start of a new year. As with every new year we look forward with hope and anticipation. "What will the new year bring?" we ask ourselves. We cannot know the answer to that question but we can prepare ourselves so as to be as ready as possible for whatever comes our way.
One thing of which we can be certain is that Christmas Day will fall on 25 December 2019 as it has every other year. Mother has already started preparing for the festivities of that day by making the Christmas puddings last week, whilst the retailers have been screaming at us, seemingly since last Christmas to buy, buy, buy the latest whatever it is that you never knew you couldn't live without. And now at massive discounts! Wow! What a not to be missed opportunity. Let's rush out to take advantage of their generosity!
But, let us rather take a step back, to quiet ourselves amidst the hurly-burly of our busy daily lives. Let us look beyond the meaningless,commercial hype, just for a few moments. You see, it is so easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas, marking as it does the birth of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, that precious gift freely given to each and every one of us, even though we have done nothing to earn it, or even deserve it. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 KJV. Now that is a gift beyond price! A gift not discounted in any way, but freely offered to all. As Christians then may we use Advent as a time to prepare ourselves to receive it so that we may: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father, which is in heaven, Matthew 5:16 KJV.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years