Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Sunday 24 November marks the Feast of Christ the King. As the Collect for the day begins with the words:"Stir up we beseech thee, O Lord..." the day has become known as 'Stir up Sunday' In earlier times it was traditional to consume what food was in store before the Fast of Advent. But in our house, as I suspect in many others, it was the time when Mother prepared the Christmas pudding, cakes and other goodies for the Festive season. In the kitchen she gathered together the rich spices, peel and currants she had squirreled away through the year. Out came he biggest mixing bowl and in went all those rich ingredients. There was always great excitement in the house as we children knew that in due time we would be allowed to stir the mixture, and perhaps, lick the spoon! With any luck there would not be too much mess in the kitchen but then we were only children. Once we had finished stirring Mother would shoo us out of the kitchen so that she could get on. Father would then come in to drop a silver three-penny piece into the mixture. It was a valuable coin since its silver content far exceeded its face value and so was the only one he had. On Christmas Day one lucky person would find that silver coin in his or her piece of pudding.
It all seems so long ago now. I don't suppose anyone makes a Christmas pudding nowadays. After all, a click of a button on the computer will have a fully prepared one delivered to your door with the rest of the groceries in an instant. Ah well, as the prophet once said: Your old men shall dream dreams. Joel 2:28. You must excuse me.
Yet those old memories have an important message for us today. Remember that once the rich pudding has been eaten the silver coin remains. Now, think about that for a moment. All the apparent riches, the high position in society, the trappings of wealth of which we are so proud will not last. Indeed, like the silver coin, the one valuable thing that will last, for all eternity, is Christ the King.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years