Thoughts and reflections

Faith Goes Walkabout

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Advent Sunday

St Mary’s East Walton

Advent means the arrival or the coming.

Just as it’s getting darker and darker with the nights getting longer and longer, we start thinking about the light of the world;

All out of darkness there came light…

The light of the world has come among us to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light from the collect.

What does that mean, the works of darkness, the armour of light?

Read more in Advent 2022...

Advent 3 Sunrise

I’m going to start with the sunrise! Yesterday morning was absolutely wonderful. I was just getting up about 7.00am and looked outside to see a warm reddish pink glow on the skyline, so I said how lovely it was and continued with my usual ‘getting up’ arrangements.

By 7.30am I was outside  looking at the sky, touched by pinkness on the edge of high clouds.

All out of darkness we have light!

Read more on Advent 2021...

Advent 1 November 28th

The light shines in the darkness

Candle Light in St Mary’s East Walton. Norfolk  by Sue Martin

Advent means the arrival or the coming.

Just as it’s getting darker and darker with the nights getting longer and longer, we start thinking about the light of the world;

All out of darkness there came light,…

The light of the world has come among us to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light from the collect.

What does that all mean, darkness, the works of darkness, the armour of light?     Read more in Advent 2021

Rev’d Sue Martin

Advent 4 Mary and Elizabeth

The light shines in the darknessDoes this seem a particularly dark and gloomy time of year? Or is it just me?

More than ever  we need the light of the world to come among us. If He could also stop all the messages about Covid and let us reflect on what is important at Christmas, that would be wonderful too.

On the last Sunday before Advent, in our readings, Angel Gabriel visits Mary in Nazareth and following her news, Mary travels a considerable distance to see her cousin Elizabeth, also expecting her first child.

A real sign of hope when it was so needed.

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and returned home to her parents and her betrothed husband Joseph. Such courage and real strength.

This Christmas, 2020, we can still hope, we can light the candles, we can decorate the tree and know that whatever happens God loves us forever.

Read more in Sermons 2020

 

Rev’d Sue Martin

 

Shepherds, Sheep and Angels

Shepherds, Sheep and Angels,

Advent 3

Isaiah 7: 1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

 

 

 

 

 

Image from Christmas Journeys

Advent is the season we are well into now and looking forward to Christmas, only 12 days to go! Still time to do all those unimaginable jobs that need to be done, or if you are anything like me, still time to make the mince pies and finish the shopping.

But let’s first of all slow down the advent season and take a little time to look inwards and at our hopes and fears for the years ahead,to look outwards at a world in need of hope, both in this country and abroad and to look towards God for his direction and love.

Even in the midst of this pandemic there are signs of joy as the Advent third candle is lit.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Christ the King The Sunday before Advent

…the Sunday before Advent.

We are at the end of the church year! Like the calendar year of 2020, what a year!! Most people will be pleased to see this year behind us.

Christ the King is the last Sunday before Advent and as we reflect on his kingdom, what does it mean for us?

Is it…  The living of a good life.

 

Serving others and our community, sharing in love and friendship, knowing God as the true and  living God.

Is this where we can start to get close to the  kingdom of God.

Is it for us to find, and for us to be part of?

The good thing  is that every day we can help others.

We can stop for a minute and help.

We can show someone  love and friendship.

More thoughts on Sermons 2020…

Rev’d Sue Martin

Advent

Four weeks of preparation and getting ready! That’s a long time even for those, like me who are not that organised, all those endless jobs that need doing before Christmas are sitting in my lists, staring at me every day!

I met with a friend this week who has everything done and finished, just waiting now for Christmas to arrive! At first that seems wonderful but what would Christmas be like if we had it all completed before we had even started?

So, I give myself permission to remain unorganised, have many jobs left to do, and presents to wrap. But in the midst of that I hope to meet friends along the way to share time with, to see sparkling lights brightening the dark skies, to think of just how lucky we are and to find a time each day to thank God for the arrival of his son Jesus into the world over 2000 years ago.

A prayer…

Slow down Advent, and take time to look inwards at our hopes and fears, to look outwards at a world in need of hope and to look Godward confidant in his love and committment to the world.

Amen

Rev’d Sue Martin

Read more at Faith goesWalkabout advent 

 

Advent and only a few days to go…

Sitting at the computer and knowing the daylight will soon be going, even though it is only 2.00pm, brings thoughts to mind of all those without a warm home.

A world full of anguish and uncertain futures.

I have just visited a parishioner, Pearl, who I should have seen much sooner. She lives on her own and wanted to pray for all those who are on their own over Christmas. Her family are close but her life has become lonely.

 

A prayer…

Close the door of hate, and open the door

Of love all over the world.

Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Bethlehem

The famous journey to Bethlehem must have started about this day. Mary and Joseph travelling alone to be registered.

Our vision of Bethlehem is of the city outlined against the starry night sky.

Today many people are trapped behind the huge walls in Bethlehem that have surrounded them, and from which they are not able to get out, apart from through the guarded roadside posts Palestinians.  Both Christian and Muslim have little access to making a livelihood for themselves.

I met Mahmoud in Manger Square, and still have the embroidered phone case which his wife had made and which he was selling. He refused to take money from me as we had talked and talked! He used to work in Jerusalem as a builder but now finds no work at all trapped in Bethlehem.

Mahmoud in Bethlehem

This is still the place where we will find the Christ child, in the places where people struggle and lifes torments are most acute and long lasting.

O Little Town of Bethlehem., how still we see thee lie,

Above the deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stard go by.

Yet in the dark streets shineth, the everlasting light,

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Shine on in our hearts so we can see the way to help and support those living in Bethlehem today.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Advent 4 – Mary and Angel Gabriel

Love, openness and forgiveness

 Image courtesy of BBC Nativity 2010

2 Samuel 7:1 – 11, Luke 1: 26-38

What vision of Mary do you have in your mind?

What kind of picture of this young mother do you have?

Is it that serene and graceful woman, often shown much later in life that Mary actually was, gazing with love and awe at baby Jesus?

Or is it of a good looking young girl, with lots of dark hair, and full of character, wondering how, where and why she has been given this enormous and immensely special task?

Whichever way you think of Mary, maybe you can see her face in images from around the world of young people who are given responsibility above their age?

If you have chance to watch reports from Channel 4 of Aleppo you will see a young teenage boy distraught with grief who then turns to help an older woman who has lost her daughter. Harrowing, especially at this time of Christmas, when all should be well.

I keep in mind the sight of the Mary who trusted in God so much and went through a huge struggle in her world.

O Little Town of Bethlehem, be born in us tonight.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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