Before I forget.... There is a lovely Advent tradition which
we have the chance to join in this year and which might add something
extra to your Christmas preparations. The custom of Posada originated
in Mexico where two young people were chosen to dress up as Mary
and Joseph. They used to travel from house to house in their
village telling people about the imminent arrival of Jesus and
asking them if they would give him a room. On
Christmas Eve they would re-enact a community play and bring
figures of Mary and Joseph to be placed in the crib.
day equivalent is based on this concept but encourages Churches
to enable people to give a home to their nativity figures for
a night. This will symbolise making room for Jesus in their hearts,
homes and communities. Each night during Advent the figures travel
around the parish from home to home arriving in Church on Christmas
Eve in time for the arrival of our Lord.
encourages people to think about the meaning of Christmas and
to share the message with others. On Christmas Eve when the figures
arrive back in Church the crib scene is built up during a service
in preparation for Christmas Day.
We have the offer of a Posada nativity available within our congregation,
and elsewhere in this magazine you will find examples of prayers
to use. There is no cost involved - just your willingness to
take part. - Please sign up in church to host Mary & Joseph
this year. Oh, and just to remind us all - Advent begins this
year on November 27th.
On another subject entirely, Paul and I recently attended the
annual Selwyn lecture in the Cathedral. This year it was given
by Prof. John Lennox, a distinguished Mathematician and Christian
who has on several occasions entered into debate with some of
the prominent Atheists of our day - Richard Dawkins, Christopher
Hitchens and others. He was both entertaining and thought provoking,
reminding us all that there need be no conflict between science
and religion and that the God we worship is not the "God
of the gaps" as is sometimes claimed, but God of the whole
of creation - science included! The more we understand about
the natural world and the laws that govern science, the more
wonder and respect we can have for the God who orders it all
to happen that way.
Next year's Selwyn Lecture - which is open to all, but obligatory
for ordained clergy, will be held on Wed. 24 Oct 2012.
WE have all had our minds on matters financial recently
This is also a good month to remind those kind folk in all our
churches who make a regular contribution through the Envelope
Schemes or by Direct Debit, that costs continue to rise for the
Church, as for us all. Thank you all so much for your support
and if there is any possibility that you could increase your
giving - even by a little - it would save our Treasurer from
some sleepless nights
. Those who pay tax and have completed
the 'gift aid' forms have helped enormously too. The amount we
re-claim from the Inland Revenue on your behalf makes a real
difference in our church.
The more we can pay each month or as regularly as possible, the
less the Diocese will incur in interest charges - I am sure you
can see the logic.
The Lord bless you and keep you!
A PRAYER TO
WELCOME THE POSADA FIGURES INTO OUR HOMES
Eternal God, Father Son and Holy Spirit You are always present
in our home unseen and often not acknowledged. Help us to experience
the joy of looking forward this Advent and make it a time of
new beginnings. We welcome these figures from the nativity and
pray that you will bless this house and all of us who live here.
A PRAYER FOR
OTHERS WHO WILL BE WELCOMING THE FIGURES AND TAKING PART IN THE
Lord God our Father, as we have welcomed these Posada figures
into our homes, we pray that other people will open their homes
and their lives to you at this Advent time. Help all who will
be involved in the Posada by welcoming these figures to celebrate
with expectation the waiting time between now and Christmas.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.