The evening was dark, windy and wet as I made my way out.
Fortunately, the car was just outside the door; a quick dash and I would soon be back in the dry. Turning to lock the door, I noticed a small package, nestling amongst the ornaments on the doorstep. It had been there several hours; fortunately, no harm was done.
Once upon a time couriers demanded a signature. Then came Covid, and suddenly ‘no contact’ became the rule. It seems to have been but a short step further for courier services to realise that a quick photograph of a package by your front door was evidence enough to prove delivery.
Even though my study overlooks the drive it is surprising how many people get to the front door without me knowing it. Are they hidden by my car in front of the window; or am I so preoccupied with my own little corner that I simply fail to notice what’s going on just outside? In our busy lives we learn to filter out so much; including sounds and messages we don’t want to hear; how much do we miss?
As I rescued my parcel, I remembered seeing someone on the drive earlier. I had been busy and hadn’t gone to see who had visited and why. Here in Stonham, away from the road, a parcel can sit safely from prying eyes for several hours as this parcel had done. I wonder how long it would stay if the door opened onto a busy street? Maybe I won’t always be that lucky.
Over the next few weeks, couriers will be busy, bringing parcels, letters, messages. Some, like Gabriel, are literally angelic, others, like John the Baptist, equally human. All carry important messages, good news for those willing to receive them. Their messages are, as the angel told the shepherds, for all people (Lk 2:10,11) – including you and I. Will we hear them when they call, or will we be too wrapped up in our own concerns to see what’s happening just beyond the window?
Rev’d Philip Payne
The Notice Sheet for 4th December can be found here