St Mary’s Church Coddenham

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From The Rectory – the Waiting is Over

by | Dec 28, 2023 | Coddenham Church, News

Illustration of St Marys Church Coddenham by Bernard BAker

The waiting is over.  Christmas Day has been and gone; the gifts opened, the dinner cooked and eaten.

Sat supping a quiet cuppa on Christmas Eve, I heard, yet again, the complaint that waiting is squeezed out; Christmas expands to fill ever more of Advent; leaving correspondingly less time for the intended contemplation.  It would be easy to bristle; eight parishes can’t all leave everything Christmas to the 25th.  But did Christmas come early for you?  Is the waiting over?

The tree may have gone up weeks ago, but did Santa arrive any earlier?  I think not.  The waiting just took on a different shape.  Reminded daily by the decorations and cards; the promise remained just that; an unfulfilled promise; until the 25th, until the day of fulfilment.

One year we gave our son a bike.  Gift wrapping it was a challenge we ducked so it spent several days in the cellar under a dust-cover with other bikes.  Come the day, and despite several hints and clues we had given him, we quickly realised how effective this hiding in plain sight had been.  We took him down to the cellar to find it.  Without our aid it would have remained there for a long time.  Here is a parable for Christmas: Jesus may be here among us, but until we recognise him and react we are no better off.

When God became man, or to be precise – baby boy, some found him; a few shepherds, the Magi, Simeon and Anna but even when he emerged as a fully fledged adult, most failed to notice.  Some continued searching earnestly in the wrong place, eventually with disastrous results.

God came down at Christmas.  He came to the world, but the world didn’t know him.  He came to his own, but they wouldn’t receive him.   The waiting is over.  Christmas has been and gone.  The Word has become flesh and dwelt among us and to all who recognise and receive him he has given power to become God’s children.  Have we received him, or are we still waiting?


Rev Philip  Payne                                                         New Years Eve 2023     The Notice Sheet for 31st December can be found here

The Rector’s Christmas Sermon can be found here


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