The Rector writes:
Dear sisters and brothers,
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
So writes T. S. Eliot in his poem Little Gidding.
We are now almost back at the beginning as we begin a new Church year, a familiar time, but new every year.
We gather this Sunday once more to wait and watch in longing expectation for the coming of Christ. We wait in this familiar space, but we also wait with all that has happened in the last year.
We come carrying with us the events which have reshaped us, beginnings and endings, births and deaths, new jobs or reaching retirement, not forgetting the ongoing risk of Covid.
We bring all this as we prepare to meet with God in his Son Jesus through this Season of Advent.
We wait to celebrate the Incarnation of the Word made flesh at Christmas, but our Gospel this Sunday also points us to something more, when Jesus will return to bring in the Kingdom of God, which is not something which should not terrify us, but instead fill us with joy, for we will be able to see God, face to face.
Advent is not simply a time to know Jesus is coming into the world, it is a time of hope and expectation,
We can be certain in an eternal truth, that Jesus will return, and as much as the budding leaves on the trees promise the return of new life in the spring, so in Jesus we have the promise of new life with God.
The new life of arriving back at the beginning, but in a new way,
Of us being able to hear our voices in the apple tree at the source of the longest river, of us being able to dwell once more in the Garden with God.
Come, Lord Jesus.
With all blessings,