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From the Rectory December 2019

SIMON WARD 12-2018as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life

 

Rev Canon Simon Ward 

 

I’m writing on a train journey to Peterborough. I checked and it’s 98 miles, apparently. It’s a pleasant journey on a nice, shiny, new Greater Anglia train as it whips me through the Norfolk countryside on a bright but grey November morning. The trains are running on time and I should be there in just a couple of hours
 
Compare that to the journey of Mary and Joseph which was of a not dissimilar length: a 90 mile journey. A journey which a poor couple would almost certainly have undertaken on foot, despite young Mary being heavily pregnant. It’s a journey which would have taken many days and at times they would have been in the company of others while other times just the two of them. It could be hot at times then freezing cold at night and some of the hills most unkind. Add to that it wasn’t even a journey which they wanted to make but they were compelled to by the Roman authorities
 
A journey is an opportunity for us to learn and to grow. Sometimes a break from the familiar and routine can create space for us to think and reflect and see things afresh. I’m still struck by the time I took a boat to Scroby Sands in the summer and gained a very different perspective on my parish
 
Journeys give growth through the challenge. Greater Anglia is not challenging me this morning but for some people the process of a journey is fraught with obstacles and disappointments. Through these we learn and grow. These can be the times in life where things don’t go as we planned or expected but God does not leave us. We come to new place. We find a fresh view and we leave things behind
 
The journey of Mary and Joseph is a key part of our reflections in the season of Advent. It must have been a challenge. But it is a story which gives substance to our hope through the birth of Jesus Christ: the source of our hope as Christians
 
Enjoy the days of Advent: the looking forward and expectation of all that is to come. Learn to appreciate the journey through the days of Advent to get us there as this is part of the joy
 
Wishing you every joy and happiness this season
Fr Simon

 
 

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