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Viewpoint from Rev Rosie Bunn 21/11/2014 

Dove rightRev Rosie Bunn
St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Burgh Castle and All Saints Church, Belton

At Burgh Castle we have been having some work done to the church building.  One of the problems we are correcting is the crumbling of some of the foundations in a corner of the building; subsidence, probably caused by defective rainwater goods.  The builders have carefully stripped away the damaged structure and rebuilt it; they have strengthened the foundations, they are repairing broken walls, replacing rotten floorboards and when they have finished it will much stronger and the area will be safe to use again

viewpoint 11-14aSeeing the plasterwork stripped away, got me thinking about the way we, as human beings, cover up what is really going on inside us; we cover up the rotten bits; the flaws in the foundations of our own lives,  so that often people are surprised when a friend or relative crumples or falls.  Sometimes we have so programmed ourselves through life that when we are asked “How are you doing?” the natural response is “I’m fine”, even when we are clearly not fine.  My husband calls this “the Sunday lie-in”! 

Obviously, the building work is a project that will take some time to complete and it’s costly.  Also, whilst it is going on, the congregation is experiencing a measure of discomfort, but it will be worth it in the end.  As people, dealing with the things in life that have caused our foundations to be damaged is also an extremely uncomfortable process, and worth it in the end if we are prepared to tackle it
In the Bible, the account of Nehemiah tells us how Nehemiah prepared to tackle the massive project of rebuilding the city walls of Jerusalem; he prayed, he took a careful and realistic look at what needed to be dealt with, and then prepared a plan to tackle it enlisting others to help him.  He also had to deal with the interferences and distractions as he got on with the restoration

viewpoint11-14bAs we come into the season of Advent, there is opportunity to sit and reflect on our own foundations; where we are before God.  Whether he is encouraging us to rebuild and restore an area of our own life that has seen some decay or damage?  Whether he wants to remind us of past glories that now, through the passing of time, have faded

Advent is a season of waiting, or anticipation, of planning and preparation in readiness to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  We celebrate his birth at Christmas, but during the Advent season we also remember that he promised to come back again and so our preparations are preparations for eternity too.  For that we look to our foundation; to Jesus Christ the cornerstone of the Christian faith who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible and in him all things hold together

God will, at our invitation, be like the surveyor who wanders through inspecting the structures, discovering what needs attention and guiding us through the restoration, but he has to be invited in