“We look expectantly for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Our Advent #Posada2018 theme of looking and seeing was underlined in today’s evening visit, which included this quotation from the Letter to the Philippians.
5pm Vespers transferred from St Chrysostom’s Church to the nearby Chapel of the SMA fathers, where Posada rests with the fathers this evening. Fr Tom welcomed us and Fr Henry, from Liberia led us in Vespers. He gently and kindly encouraged a spirit of inclusion in the worship as he shared out words for each to say.
In the warmth and brightness of the chapel we sensed the presence of God’s love as we united in prayer. Gregory (aged 10) described the Vespers as lovely, quiet and peaceful, and indeed it was. Together, in the intercessions, we prayed Lord, that we may see – a prayer we wish to echo through Advent this year as we ‘watch for Christ’ and look for signs of God among us.
As Fr Tom give Fr Ian guidance on how to set the timer on his phone for a timed photo some of us noticed a curious statue near the altar. St Joseph sleeping and reminding us of God coming in dreams, and giving his beloved sleep (Psalm 127.2). How lovely!
The SMA fathers have their British office on Upper Brook Street, near Church and here several of the fathers live. The order works mainly in West Africa and often the priests work in difficult circumstances. Only a few weeks ago, Fr Tom told us, one of the fathers, Pierre Luigi Maccalli was kidnapped, apparently by Muslim terrorists, in southern Niger, near the border with Burkina Faso. We join in prayer for him.
We find God not only in worship but also in sharing food, laughter and stories together. After Vespers we had a cup of tea and a snack together. As Fr Tom and Alan worked to see if their Irish connections coincided we talked of the life of the local community and admired paintings by a local artist. Undoubtedly for each this short time together was an enriching experience and vision was enlarged through meeting and through the eyes of faith.
Pause to think about a meeting which has enriched your life today. Can you see Christ as present there?