Sleaford Parish Church 

sleafrod paris hcuhrch

Parish Blog

Christmas Message 2020

Posted on 15 December, 2020 at 3:50

A voice cries out in the wilderness…’ I wonder what you think of when you hear the word ‘wilderness’. There are few places in the UK that qualify aswilderness – Ranoch Moor is one of them. ‘Bleak’ and ‘inhospitable’ are words that come to my mind. The ancient Near East may be known as the fertilecrescent but the fertility of the land is in comparison to the desert and harsh Canaanite Highlands that surround the fertile plains. It was on the bleakuplands that you found the shepherds, moving their flocks from one patch of scrubby grass to another. The reality of the good land flowing with milk and honey to which God had led the people of Israel is always viewed against the harshness of the wilderness – the long years of wandering after the exodus from Egypt until the finally arrived in the fertile plains of Canaan. The Old Testament (almost) begins with years in the wilderness, but it (almost) ends with years in exile – both times of harsh testing.

So, the wilderness wasn’t just a physical reality. The wilderness hasmetaphorical significance: anxiety, uncertainty, vulnerability, these are all part of the wilderness experience. For many, this year has been a wildernessexperience – and the prospect for next year isn’t much improved. The hope of the lockdown being eased on December 2nd has been dashed by the reality of ‘Tier 3’. A review date is set for the 16th, but will the move to the (slightly) freer ‘Tier 2’ actually happen? Will the five days of (relative) freedom over Christmas result in a tighter lockdown in January? What will be the impact on local businesses? Schools? Medical services? I am a trustee of a charity that provides relief to those in need and the last few months have seen asignificant rise in applications for assistance – a trend that I can’t see changing any time soon. The restrictions on physical contact and social interaction are taking their toll on mental health and well-being. Anxiety. Uncertainty.Vulnerability. We are all in a wilderness.

But the prophet Isaiah spoke into such situations. He reminds us that God is with us and prepares us for the incarnation, but he goes much further. His message of hope is also a direct challenge to the wilderness. The Canaanite Highlands will become like the fertile plains: that which is bleak and inhospitable will become habitable and pleasant. We may not know what the world will be like the other side of this pandemic but the message of Advent and Christmas is that we will not be in the wilderness for ever – the rough place will become plain.

Fr Philip

 

Categories: None

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

20 Comments

Reply d-f-c.comCisee
2:22 on 15 January, 2021 
Paper forms are simply less of a valid option now.
Quite apart from our awareness of the environmental impact,
Covid 19 has made it clearer still that ‘Digital’ is the way to go.
We have the product to help you do away with your paper forms.
Working remotely, Contractors and Employees can to use their personal computers or smart phones by simply filling in the required digital forms and summit.
On receipt, the office can save the information to the record system easily, its simple, secure and cost effective.
Digital Form Creator is a low-cost way to provide real time data via the internet to still meet operational expectations easily Starting at £12.50 a month.
We are offering a 1st month free coupon to see if it can be incorporated into your current operations,
to get one of the 1,000 coupons go to http://www.d-f-c.com.au/c19 for more information.
Reply Nulknuddy
5:49 on 22 December, 2020 
Isotretinoin Secure Ordering Overseas Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
order cialis online
kabsjede Prix Du Viagra Suisse
Reply Pexwreria
14:42 on 21 December, 2020 
cialis side effects pines Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis and viagra sales
kabsjede Dove Comprare Viagra Cialis
Reply Nulknuddy
11:44 on 21 December, 2020 
Achat Cialis Doctissimo Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis without prescription
kabsjede Rx Propecia Online
Reply Pexwreria
0:03 on 21 December, 2020 
Levitra Prix En Pharmacie Viagra Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis for daily use
kabsjede kamagra para ellas
Reply Pexwreria
22:57 on 20 December, 2020 
Adverse Effect Of Amoxicillin Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
buy cialis cheap
kabsjede Cialis Serieux
Reply Nulknuddy
22:52 on 20 December, 2020 
How Do You Take Zithromax Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
buy cialis 20mg
kabsjede Vendita Levitra Free
Reply Nulknuddy
18:35 on 20 December, 2020 
Viagra Super Dulox Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis online purchase
kabsjede Prix Kamagra En Algerie
Reply Pexwreria
8:36 on 20 December, 2020 
cialis takes how long to work Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
buy cheap generic cialis uk
kabsjede tomar viagra o levitra
Reply Pexwreria
7:52 on 20 December, 2020 
Can I Purchase Elocon 0.1% Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis online prescription
kabsjede Compra Priligy Precio
Reply Pexwreria
10:46 on 19 December, 2020 
Tomar Viagra Sildenafil Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
purchase cialis online
kabsjede Propecia Experience
Reply Pexwreria
7:26 on 19 December, 2020 
Priligy Usa Blog Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
how to buy cialis
kabsjede Farmacie Online Italiane
Reply Nulknuddy
1:44 on 19 December, 2020 
Comprar Cialis Por Internet Foro Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
buy cialis online with a prescription
kabsjede Acquisto Cialis Prezzo
Reply Pexwreria
22:26 on 18 December, 2020 
Comprar Cialis En Las Palmas Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cheap cialis online pharmacy
kabsjede Comprar Cialis Super Active
Reply Nulknuddy
22:05 on 17 December, 2020 
Acquistare Kamagra Uk Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
generic cialis no prescription
kabsjede cialis super active generique 20 mg
Reply Nulknuddy
19:33 on 17 December, 2020 
Viagra In Wiesbaden Kaufen Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis 20mg price
kabsjede Keflex Prostate Dog
Reply Nulknuddy
6:42 on 16 December, 2020 
levitra dose Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
generic cialis from india
kabsjede Propecia Preparado Oficinal
Reply Nulknuddy
3:58 on 16 December, 2020 
Provera With Next Day Delivery Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis super active
kabsjede Kamagra Kaufen Schweiz
Reply Nulknuddy
22:11 on 15 December, 2020 
Pharmacy The Best Nitroglycerin Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
cialis no prescription
kabsjede Levitra 5 Mg Valore
Reply AntefPutt
5:00 on 15 December, 2020 
Propecia Rogaine Foam Intenueatoca
url=https://bansocialism.com/ says...
buy cialis online prescription
kabsjede Zentel Roundworms