Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
As Anglicans, the Sunday before Advent is colloquially known to us as ‘Stir up Sunday’ from the first words of the Collect for the day: Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the will of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Traditionally it was the day when Mother would make the Christmas pudding. Once the pudding bowl came out and the ingredients assembled on the kitchen worktop you knew Christmas was not too far off. Everything was in the bowl, so the children would be invited to take turns in stirring the mixture. Plenteous fruit was stirred into the Christmas pudding! Finally Father would come into the kitchen with a small supply of silver three penny pieces which he would ceremoniously drop into the bowl. The mixture was then tipped onto a muslin cloth, tied with string and placed in a saucepan of boiling water, there to steam for what seemed ages. The rich and inviting smell of the pudding cooking permeated the house. Preparations for Christmas had started! The next step would be to find the crib and make the decorations. Not that anything would be put out yet, of course, but the excitement was in the air!
In the same way, Advent is the time for preparation for the coming of the Christ child. Let us bring forth plenteous good works this Christmas as we go through Advent
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years