On the One Who Is To Come….

BVN Article

Friday 01 December


Like me, Peter Capaldi is leaving at Christmas. His departure promises to be infinitely more dramatic and glamorous than mine. I will collapse in a snoring heap at the end of Christmas services and then after recuperation assisted by multiple modest portions of wine and pudding will pack the contents of the Rectory into a lorry and slowly head east into the sunrise. Peter Capaldi, on the other hand, will thrillingly and spectacularly regenerate into the thirteenth Time Lord (and change gender in the process!)

Now it is just possible that you have no idea what I’m talking about. In a nutshell on Christmas day Peter Capaldi, (The twelfth Dr Who - he of the thin, ominous face) is leaving the programme to be replaced by the attractive Jodie Whittaker. Dr Who is growing curves.  Closer to home the dibley-esque Sarah Brown (The xxxxxth vicar) is leaving the programme to be replaced by…. drumroll…Another Vicar. I’m so sorry. We couldn’t get Jodie Whittaker, although I suppose Peter Capaldi might be available and would certainly bring a bit of atmosphere to the cemetery.

But for now the One Who Is To Come has no name. Vicar regeneration is not often visually spectacular, taking, as it does, a few months rather than minutes- and the sound effects are disappointing- but the new vicar will be different and I hope you will enjoy the difference!  But the real point of this December epistle should not be the departure and replacement of some village vicar but the impending arrival of the real One Who Is To Come. The one whose sandal I’m not fit to tie, the one who is the light of the world come to dispel the darkness in me and in you. The one who we remember on Christmas day, born into poverty, danger and obscurity but called Saviour of the World. The one who grew up to show us that God is love. And then died to demonstrate that love by taking on himself the weight of all our darkness in order that we can step into the light of God’s presence and see our lives changed. And having neutralised death’s finality on Easter morning he went back to God from whom he had come, leaving a raggle baggle church and its raggle baggle leaders to love their communities in his name and point others to him until he comes again to judge the living and the dead.

Jesus came and he will come again at the end of things. That is the Christian story. Vicars come and go but Jesus goes and comes back. May we all be ready when he does.  I think we can safely say that the spectacle of the regeneration of all creation will put even the glorious Jodie in the shade. In the meantime I’m going to miss you.

 Happy Christmas and Love one another, won’t you.

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