The Collect for the second Sunday after Christmas
ALMIGHTY God, who hast poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; Grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In some ways this Sunday can be an anti-climax after the Celebrations of the feast of the Incarnation. Suddenly the attendance at Mass drops to the usual numbers, Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree disappear to one's irritation Woolworths supermarket is starting to sell Hot Cross buns, which I think in a way is a matter of bad taste. Another matter is that the world around us has not changed much, the television news is still bad and the suffering still continues.
It is therefore important to pray this Collect , which I said at Mass on Sunday morning, empowered by the dwelling of God's Holy Spirit in us.
Yes, we will shine our lights in the darkness of this world and we will endeavour to draw others into the same light, the light of Christ.
Parishes usually have their annual meeting before Christmas and quite often they come to the conclusion that things in the Parish need to change so that we not only carry out a meaningful act of worship for the regulars, but that we also draw others to join us on this Mission of working towards the coming of Christ's Kingdom here on earth. I said before that the emphasis is so often on change, but the Church should not change like it has done over the past decade with its liberal attitude towards the way we worship and who is allowed to be ordained to the Priesthood is who is not allowed to be ordained. The change has to come within us, how we love each other , how we relate to each other and how these changes can benefit the contact with non believers in the World. The Church does not need to change for the world, but it does need change the world.
Clergy often talk about the Parish family, but how true is this ? So often in Parishes , Parishioners at coffee time only speak to those they like to speak to. Or you can be a Parishioner of a Parish for many years and during the week you receive no phone call or visit from the Priest or fellow Parishioners. One can get so lonely when this happens. Jesus said:" Love one another, as I have loved you", this means interaction!
In the New Year we often start good new intentions, but for once , can we , in our good intentions, incorporate the contents of this morning's collect?
Dont change the Church, let the Church change the world.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne