Vicar of Evesham Rev Andrew Spurr's Christmas message - The Evesham Observer

Vicar of Evesham Rev Andrew Spurr's Christmas message

Evesham Editorial 25th Dec, 2019   0

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but we don’t pray when things are going well. I am not talking about atheists here, it’s the rest of us who are not easily reduced to prayer.

If life is going well, God tends to slip. In some ways this is not surprising. Faith always thrives at the edges. We reach for the spiritual when the carnal has failed us, or our life is at risk. We seek meaning when we are in a place we didn’t anticipate, sudden illness, the birth of a child, entering a lifelong commitment, preparing for death.

Each of these takes us to the edge, some thresholds offer promise, others drop us into a feeling of power draining from us. The whole point of faith is to give us a framework to manage life, when we get to that precipice where everything we knew and learned can no longer be a guide to where we find ourselves. If we dare, we summon the courage to peer into the darkness, looking for shapes in the emptiness.

New life comes from the edges. At this time of year the church reads about new shoots sprouting from the stump of a once-proud tree. We hear about a madman coming right from the very edge, out of the desert, baptising and announcing the presence of the God of wilderness places. And we sing of God-among-us, not in palaces or centre-places, these have no need of God, but in the edge-places, on the fringe of life, of community, of justice and especially on the outer reaches of where we would expect a God to be, but where we need God to be most of all.




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