I must begin by paying tribute to Fr. Roger Sparks, former Rector of St Mary’s, who passed away this week. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. We are grateful to God for all whose lives were positively impacted upon by him and we continue to pray for Cecelia in her time of mourning the loss of her husband.
As we continue our Advent journey, I am reminded of our need for renewal. I have often used an illustration in which I have a bucket filled with sand and a number of rocks that I am trying to put into the bucket. Needless to say the point is obvious, that you must remove the sand before you can put the rocks in. Emptying ourselves is a critical step in any renewal. These last 2 weeks, I have emptied much, and my soul is beginning to have room again. Our lives become cluttered with so much that we need to stop and empty. We can learn a lesson from our computers, which need to “defrag”. Every bit of information that you type into your computer is saved on it’s hard drive. Every experience of your life, every conversation, every event is saved in your subconscious. So life clutters up your head and even if you delete files, off your computer or move on from events or situations or circumstances – they are still saved deep in the recesses of your soul. Cleaning out these stored files is essential. Emptying ourselves in the act of corporate penitence, is much like deleting files off your computer and if you are sincere, you can even “empty the trash” as you have to do on your computer. But it is only in a personal one on one time with God, it is only through meditation and contemplation (Prayer) – that you can “defrag” and wipe the slate completely clean.
This Advent, may you take the time and effort to receive forgiveness, to truly open your heart to God and allow renewal. You cannot just add this Christmas to the past year and carry on. You must be transformed by the renewal of your minds. I urge you to seek God afresh and be set free from the past, allowing the newness of God to wash over you and fill you with love and peace and joy,
Thy Kingdom come, They Will be done, Oh Lord.
Let it be to me as you have said (Mary’s response to the Angel – Luke 1:38b)
Be assured of my prayers.
Fr. Andrew Manning