Sunday 25 November 2012
The post-communion prayer for the Sunday before Advent is a bold one:
Stir up, O Lord
the wills of your faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,
may by you be plenteously rewarded;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
As well as reminding us of the plenteousness to be found in God, it also marks the day as ‘Stir Up Sunday’. This is the time for many to make their Christmas puddings and Christmas cakes, bringing tantalising smells of baking, steaming and sousing – and opportunities for family traditions of everyone taking their turn at the stirring. I wonder how many of us have planned ahead for this stirring, or how many of us will feel that we are a bit behind, with too much still to do? Are we ready for our stirring?
Life is a mixture of the expected (Advent rolls around after Ordinary Time) and the novel (new encounters, different ways of doing things). Although change can take us out of our comfort zone, it is one of the ways that God prompts us to look for the plenteousness that can be found in the new that emerges. Let’s be bold to offer ourselves for a regular stirring, an examination of all the ingredients that make us up.
We are grateful to those who will stir us up through this year’s Advent booklet of readings and reflections. Coming, ready or not prompts us to maintain our commitment to being stirred up, to being ready for the plenteousness that is coming to us.