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18th Dec. 2016 - 4th Sunday of Advent A

posted 16 Dec 2016, 11:14 by Veronica Yarwood

H.B. & Hw.


There is an old African story told about a group

of Europeans who took a safari in the Serengeti.

Their guide Mousa was an agile and

knowledgeable African. Anxious to see as

many elephants, zebras, gazelles, lions and

wildebeests as possible, they pushed poor Mousa

to the limit.  Gulping rather than savouring

each moment, they fell victim to the proverbial

had the experience - missed the meaning'

syndrome. Mousa stopped short, 'I can go no

further, I have to wait for my spirit to catch up

with me'.


We cannot live in the now. And there is

nowhere else to live. Our culture is: been there

- got the T-shirt. Our culture evicts what is

interior, real and sacred. Elizabeth Barrett

Browning makes the point when she writes:

Earth's crammed with heaven

And every common bush afire with God;

And only he who sees takes off his shoes.

The rest sit round and pick blackberries.


This fourth and final Sunday of Advent is an

invitation to stop, to be aware and alert, to

prepare, look out and let our spirit catch up. Its

an invitation to make this our constant reaction,

rather than rushing on, unreflecting from one

experience to the next, lost in the 'had the

experience - missed the meaning' syndrome.


And "This is how Jesus Christ came to be born."

(Mt. 1. 18.) The drama is unfolding and we need

to focus and reflect. Let’s put aside the myriad

distractions and home in. Focus on the healing

and transformation that is present and make it

our own. Not selfishly but so that through us

'the healing of heaven may flow onto a wounded



Today is Mary's day. She is the one who has

the experience and reads the meaning loud and

clear. She dares to be present to the Spirit

within her and by so doing, she brings the great

presence to us, Emmanuel, God with us, the

Christ. We celebrate Mary's faith and we know

it is that faith we need today.


So "God- is- with- us." Emmanuel, and we are

invited to live in conscious loving union with

our God who is with us. This is heaven now

and if we are not interested now, we never will

be. It is not a question of being pious, holy‑

holy and too good to be true. It is down to earth

common sense and reality, gospel and Good



After this sharing here this morning it cannot be

business as usual. Lovely service, Father, and

then it is business as usual. Who cares whether

it is a lovely service if it makes not a hap'worth

of difference?


As we walk to the car, arrive home, walk the

dog, wrap, post and polish it is all in conscious

loving union with God. And what a

transformation! The mundane and the menial,

even, become sacred and precious. We think,

speak and act with love. The external forms of

all our living are transformed because the

Formless is out. We are allowing the God

within each one of us to be God for us, through

us, with us. Just as it is meant to be!

And that is the God’s honest truth.