Pink Prose

What follows is my sermon from presiding and preaching at an Advent Eucharist in Landrake Methodist Chapel today. If I had one, I would have worn a pink stole. Alas, this was not possible, but there is pink on the cardigan I’m wearing. The readings: Isaiah 35.1-10; James 5.7-10; Matthew 11.2-11.

Coming Lord, draw near to us, as we meditate upon your Word, that we might once again be lit by the advent of your Light within us. Amen.
 
It’s near,
It’s oh, so near!
 
In some traditions
of the Church
today is a day
for wearing
the pink
of rejoicing
and joyfulness
rather than Advent’s
more usual purple
of preparation
and penitence.
 
For a corner has been turned,
and the end of this season
of looking forward
to what has been
and remembering
what is to come
is now in sight.
 
There are now
less doors closed
than open
on Advent calendars.
We have reached the top of the hill
and on the clouds of the horizon
is a soft, pink glow,
telling us of a sun
about to rise
in the East.
 
So, strengthen your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is near.
 
It’s near,
but it’s not yet here.
 
Now is the time
when patience is needed.
Now is the time
when it is tempting,
oh, so tempting,
to give in,
to break those last few doors open
and eat all the chocolates,
or make all the Lego models
(in my case,
anyway).
This is the time
when it’s tempting
to run rejoicing down the hill,
and waste all our strength
on the journey
rather than
on the joyful celebration
to come!
 
In a time
of constant
“Now,
now,
now,”
we are called
to observe
a time of waiting.
 
The light
will
come,
both as a flickering candle
of life
in a dark and humble
outhouse,
and in the blazing glory
of a golden sun.
 
But
not yet.
 
And just as we have to wait
before the rejoicing of Christmas,
as we have to wait
for the pleasure of giving gifts
in remembrance
of God’s giving
of Godself
in Christ,
so we are waiting
for that other coming,
that second coming,
in which Christ’s light
will blaze
through the world,
a world transformed
into a place
of opened eyes,
and of unstopped ears,
of the lame leaping,
and of the speechless singing,
of waters breaking forth in the wilderness
and of streams appearing in the desert.
 
So strengthen your hearts, for the Lord is near.
 
And strengthen them
also
for in waiting
there is work.
 
The disciples of the man
who came from God,
the one called John,
ask Jesus,
the man
who is at one with God,
“Are you he who is to come?”
 
And Jesus’ answer?
Look around you.
 
Can we,
who are called to be
Christ
in the world,
answer similarly?
 
Where are
the blind
who have received sight,
the lame
who now walk,
the lepers
who have been cleansed,
the deaf
who now hear,
the dead
who are now alive,
the poor
to whom the good news has been brought?
 
Are we those people?
If we are,
do we witness
in our words,
our actions,
our whole lives,
to the joyful transformative power
of God
at work?
 
Are we the agents of God?
If we are,
do we point
to what it is
we are doing,
the transformative effect
God is having through us,
rejoicing,
not for our sake
or our glory,
but for the sake of the Kingdom
and the glory of God?
 
So strengthen your hearts, for the Lord is near.
 
And strengthen them
because
in the waiting,
and
in the working,
in the remembering
and
in the looking forward,
between what was,
and
what will be,
there too is God.
 
Whatever the challenges of life,
whether it is
sorrow
when we are asked for joy,
or anxiety
when we are asked for patience,
or tiredness
when we are asked for effort,
God reaches out to us,
and offers us strength.
 
God’s reaching out to us in Christ,
is not simply something we look back to,
or something we look forward to,
but something now.
 
Whether it is through
the breaking of bread,
the speaking of an encouraging word,
or the reaching out of a helping hand,
God reaches out
to us,
even when he seems far off.
 
We wait,
and we work.
We look forward to what has been
and we remember what is to come.
 
And we do so joyfully rejoicing
for as we strengthen our hearts
it is God’s own strength we may rely on,
as God draws near to us.
 
Amen.
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About MendipNomad

I'm a nomad both physically and denominationally, but I'll always call the Mendips home. Currently a Methodist Presbyter (Minister) in Cornwall. I love sport, film, tv, socialising, politics (both US and British), and, yes, being part of the church.
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2 Responses to Pink Prose

  1. Nourishing the ground, making her ready for the presence of a ‘ pink sunrise ‘. His greatness… everywhereness moves me.

  2. Fiona says:

    I like the thought of the pink sunrise hinting at incarnation. Joyous indeed.

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