The Vicar's Letter (written by Reverend Joy Cousans, Vicar of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since June 2017
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Vicar's Letter

November 2021

Reverend Joy Cousans, vicar of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

In the Old Testament one of the books is called Ecclesiastes. The author wrote: 'For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven'. November is a season of change when the colours and fruitfulness of autumn start to make way for the starkness of winter. Sometimes November can seem depressing as the nights draw in and temperatures drop. But there are things to look forward to.

The end of November sees the beginning of a new Church year which starts on Advent Sunday. This year it falls on 28th November. Advent is a season of expectation and waiting as we look forward to celebrating the greatest event in world history: the coming of God among us as a human baby.

If we read the Old Testament, we see how the people of God waited for God to act. Sometimes they waited patiently, but often it was frustrated waiting, crying out for God to do something. We read of the many difficult situations the people faced including exile in Babylon. God's people feel powerless and oppressed; they long to return home.

From this deep sense of desperation, they cry out to God. Only God can change things, and he seems to be deaf to their entreaties. Then the people remember how God acted decisively in the past. At the time of the Exodus, Moses led the People of Israel out of Egypt. Later, in the desert at Mount Sinai, God gave them the Ten Commandments.

God's intervention was powerful and decisive. The people in exile in Babylon cry out to God to end their waiting and act decisively again on their behalf. Frustrated waiting in this case leads to action. The people turn to God and cry out to him to help them.

Over the past 18 months, we have been removed from our familiar way of life. This could be described as a sense of exile. Although things are gradually getting back to how they were pre pandemic, many things have changed. And we don't know what lies ahead. There is for many people a pervasive sense of loss. What was the response of the people in the Old Testament to their predicament? They cried out to God for help.

Christians believe God acted powerfully when he sent Jesus his Son to be the Saviour of the world. That is why Advent is a hopeful season, looking forward to the festival of Christmas, a celebration of God's intervention in the world.

This year, St Mary's Church will host an Advent Service on 28th November at 6pm. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the season of Advent, the sense of waiting in anticipation and to begin to prepare for the birth of Christ in our midst.

We hope you can join us.

With every blessing,

Joy (Vicar of Eaton Bray with Edlesborough)

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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.