December Letter from the Rector
Our Yes to God!
As we journey through the season of Advent we are asked to reflect on the place of God in the lives of those who have shaped and transformed our faith. From the earliest time their response has been a YES. There were the encounters of the Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Joseph and Moses who each heard the voice of God and affirmed it in their own way. There were the Prophets – Isaiah and Micah and Jeremiah whose YES risked life and limb to bring God’s people back to entrust him in political and religious observance. There is John the Baptist - who again called for repentance and preparation to the point of his own death. And Mary – who seemingly out of nowhere responded with “Be it unto me according to thy word”. The ultimate YES.
Each Sunday in Advent the wreath of candles will mark these points as, step by step, we approach the mystery of the incarnation and the celebration of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. God’s YES to us.
So in what way can we respond? We many not be called to founding new dynasties or becoming great leaders. We may not have the prophetic urge to speak out publicly. We may not be called to any recognised ministry. But we all some sort of vocation, some calling, some response to make to the outpouring of God’s love on us. In every church community, and especially in ours, there are jobs to be done, fellowship to be extended, worship to join in. Is there something more we could do in any of these areas? Sometimes we might feel a little intimidated by the apparent skills of others who already share in the leadership. But they too all started once, probably a little nervously and reluctantly. They too were just like Mary, willing yes, but also thinking “who, me?”
Even if it isn’t to some visible role, we are called to receive Him in word and sacrament and to give that a joyous assent rather than a grudging acceptance. And that can be expressed so simply, but so eloquently in what we say and how we say our “Yes” to God.
We can all join in the prayers more audibly – especially in that special word – “Amen”.
So especially at Christmas, when we come to the altar to receive those precious tokens of his love in bread and wine, may we acknowledge the coming of Emmanuel, God with us, and let us with open hearts and open mouths say “Amen”, come Lord Jesus.
So may the humility of the shepherds, the perseverance of the wise men, the joy of the angels, and the peace of the Christ-child be God’s gifts to us and to people everywhere this Christmas time. And may the blessing of the Christ-child be upon us always.
Amen and Yes to that.
- St Mary the Virgin
- Church Lane
- RH1 4LP