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 Thursday Reflection September 9,2021

The Collect for this past Sunday, Pentecost 15, was the well-known “Stir-Up” Collect.  

At one time ,this Collect was traditional for the 1st Sunday of Advent.  

With the introduction of the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), the collect was moved ahead a few months to the first week of September.

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people,

that richly bearing the fruit of good works,

we may by you be richly rewarded;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Personally, I questioned the wisdom of the BAS editors in making this change.  

Gradually however, much like Holy Scripture, (as I have prayed these words over a number years) I have come to see the wisdom of the words of this collect in a different light.  It is not just a reminder:  if we did not have our Christmas cake/pudding prepared, now was the time.  (We certainly do need a minimum of 4 weeks for the richness of these Christmas favorites to mature.)

Over time, I have come to realize the importance of the Season After Pentecost.  It can be said that this time—September to December—is one of the great opportunities we have to let our Christian spirituality mature, so that we may be richly rewarded by the richness of the fruits of good works.

This Season is also a time for us to understand the significance of all the people walking together in Christ.  

In many ways, we are like the various fruits of the Christmas cake/pudding.  It takes all of us together to create the special flavour of our faith.  Together, we need to be the substance which ‘fortifies’ our faith.  

As it is said, we do not have to attend church to be a Christian.  At the same time, attending, and working, together will make us stronger Christians.  It is in the community of faith, I believe, our faith is “stirred up”.

Finally, I believe we need this extended time of preparation so that the major season of Advent is fulfilled in our readiness to welcome Christ at the stable on Christmas Day.

I encourage each one of us to set aside some allotted time each week, between now and the First Sunday of Advent, to fortify our faith.  

Take a moment to walk with Christ.  

Blessings in Christ, Archdeacon Brian