Here we enter a new stage of Advent: having spent so much time on the Second Coming, now we look back, to remember the details of the Lord's First Coming. Today we focus on the character of Mary, and hear of the angel Gabriel being sent to her, to invite her to take her part in the mystery of the Incarnation, “the revelation of the mystery kept secret for endless ages” . This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing of the establishing of that house. An interesting idea is that the first reading talks of David wishing to build a house for the Lord; through the prophet he is told not of the house that he would build, but the House which is his line: eventually, in Mary (betrothed to Joseph) the House of David does itself become the house of the Lord, the womb wherein he has a dwelling place.
This year you will see that over the main door of the Church we are putting a small Crib, thank you to Tony and his team for their hard work. I hope you will agree with me that it is about time we had a crib on show in Burnage. Please God it will survive during the season! Of course we just want to show passers by the reason for the season, and hope that it will be an invitation to come and celebrate with us the birth of the Jesus, the Son of God. If walking by, or driving by point it out to people, use it as an aid to remind them that God loves them. Perhaps you could follow the example of our new bishop and say his prayer as you pass by, “Stay with us, Lord, on our journey.”
If you are going away for Christmas, I wish you safe travels and to every one of you, every Blessing to you and yours, and all you share your Christmas with. God Bless