December 2021

December 2021

Last month I was in a sombre mood but December offers light at the end of the tunnel (a suitably Adventish comment). December contains all sorts of good and positive things, starting with International Baboon Day on the 3rd and proceeding through the vicar’s formal Collation (including the Restitution Of The Scones stored since September) to the memory of Mrs Amelia Jane Bloomer (she of the eponymous lady’s garments) on the 30th.

Unless you are a baboon I suppose the place to start is that Collation (4th) when the great and the good of our area and diocese will gather formally to induct Rev Liz to her rightful place in St Andrews. As Liz remarked recently there are all sorts of symbolic acts involved but the essence of the service is to give Liz charge of the souls of the church and of Biggleswade in general, and to remind us all of our role in God’s plan for this place. As I commented in September, “Who ministers to the minister?”

Once under way, December proceeds apace and special events come thick and fast, so much so that we risk missing the great themes of Advent: “Prepare the Way of the Lord!”

Advent starts with an apocalyptic theme on the first Sunday. You might be wondering what the Second Coming of Christ has to do with preparation for the First Coming. The idea is that in order to prepare for the Second Coming, we go back to the Old Testament, to the Prophets, and to John the Baptist, to understand what it was like to wait for the Messiah the first time around. To prepare for him. To trust that he would eventually come. In going back to those days, we begin to understand the patience, the faith, and the perseverance of our spiritual fathers and mothers, as they waited for the Messiah.

John the Baptist looms large during Advent, especially on the second and third Sundays. Jesus called John the greatest of the prophets. He was the culmination of the prophetic ministry of Israel, and he was the prophet who was able to actually point to Jesus and say, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” In John we see and feel all of the longing of Israel for the Messiah. We see a prophet who points to the fulfilment of all of the sacrificial system. We see a man who moves us from the old covenant to the new, and moves aside for Jesus the Messiah to fill the horizon.

So that on the final Sunday of Advent, we read of the annunciation to Mary on the very cusp of the Incarnation. All that we have read from the prophets and heard from John the Baptist is being revealed.

There was something else I intended to mention, but it’s slipped my mind – begins with a C. Never mind. What a month! What a message! Even for baboons.

Colin Dixon




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