Soul food - 11th December
A Children’s party with Santa Claus in the church hall at East Budleigh followed by a lantern light procession through Budleigh Salterton on Friday night were both great. There were hordes of people and children for the procession so I think we can say that this new initiative called “Christmas in the community“ was a success. The Military wives’ choir on Saturday were excellent as well. I enjoyed this concert on my own as Louise was at a works “do” in Exeter. Anyone would think it was Christmas!
On Sunday morning Louise and I were both a bit distracted as we both had a role in both services, and Louise had to fly to Newcastle in the afternoon while I presided at Evensong. Still, it was lovely to be back in East Budleigh and Otterton after too long away. This was the second Sunday of Advent and the theme was prophecy and prophets. If you’d like to read what I said just click here; https://revmartinjacques.blogspot.com/2019/12/prophecy.html
Sunday 15th December – Advent 3
On Sunday I am at St. Peter’s in the morning and presiding at St. Michael’s carol service at 4pm in the afternoon, and Karen will be at All Saints and St. Michael’s in the morning. The Advent candle this morning is for “John the Baptist”.
Isaiah 35: 1-10. More rousing prophetic writing from Isaiah, predicting a dramatic in-breaking of God into the world with the result that cleansing, refining, completeness and joy will result. The word that encapsulates that state is salvation or peace. In Hebrew and Arabic cultures, Shalom and Salaam are common greetings while in our culture that is now only really heard in liturgical blessings and in the celebration of “the Peace” on Sundays.
James 5: 7-10. For James, patience seems to be synonymous with suffering, and actually patience can be experienced as a kind of internalised suffering when you think about it. Patience doesn’t come easily to many people and is more often imposed rather than sought. James implores his readers to be strong during the time of waiting, assuring them that their final salvation is nearer than they think and not to lose discipline in the meantime,
Matthew 11: 2-11. From the fiery and confident John we heard about last week we now meet John in prison suddenly wracked with doubts. Is Jesus really the Messiah? The reason for his doubts is that he is hearing what Jesus is doing. John was a fierce denouncer of sin, and so surely the primary task of the Messiah should also be “to take an axe to the root of the trees that do not bear fruit”, but he hears that Jesus is reaching out to the poor and marginalised and restoring health to the afflicted so John is a bit confused. Jesus is not turning out to be the kind of Messiah John was expecting!
Table talk tonight – 11th December – 7pm in Peter Hall
For the last in this short series, myself and David Boorer from Palmers Funeral care plus an expert in the legal side of dealing with death, John, will be giving a talk on end of life issues. The three of us will hopefully cover the legal, practical, financial and spiritual aspects of this difficult topic (about an hour?) and then there will be time for questions at the end
Friends of All Saints church 2019 Final Fund-Raising Event
Banish the post-election blues with the University of Exeter’s Chapel Choir Christmas Concert at 7.30pm on Friday 13th December in All Saints’ Church, East Budleigh.
The Friends target is to raise £10,00 towards the necessary repairs to the Church Tower.
This is our last fund-raising event in 2019 – we hope that you will support us as we are about £2,500 short of the target … a full Church would help us make it!
Tickets are £10 and include refreshments in the interval – tickets can be bought at the Community Shop, East Budleigh Garage, in the RMC Office in St. Peter’s Church, from Paul Kurowski and on the door.
Thought for the day
Well the country goes to the polls tomorrow and I for one will be up until the small hours waiting for results to come in. Sunderland is traditionally the first
to declare but who knows? Earlier in the evening our home group will meet to contemplate “Hope” which is appropriate for the day, I think. Of course, we will almost certainly all be hoping for different outcomes depending on our political allegiances but I hope that as Christians we share the same hope that in the final judgement all things will be put right, everything twisted straightened out, all tears wiped away, everything partial made complete, all evil dealt with in justice and mercy, and all united with our God in a wonderful climax to this wonderful project called creation.
The Prayer for Today. I have quoted the English medieval mystic Julian of Norwich several times lately so here is her most famous prayer;
In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving.
You are our mother, brother, and Saviour. In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvellous and plenteous grace.
You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well. Amen
Love and peace,