St Mary Magdalene Clitheroe

Clitheroe Parish Church

Advent 3: Luke 3:7-18

Here’s the text of an email that I got last week. Great news! A steam train is coming through Clitheroe. On Saturday morning I saw someone in the street: “what are you up to today?” I asked. “Busy day today, but first I’m going to watch Leander come through”. I had forgotten. Good job someone had reminded me: so I got together my son and a camera and we dashed down to the station and got there just in time.

But no train.

Now we might have just thought: got the wrong time or the wrong day and gone home. Fortunately there were quite a few other people waiting and we asked them: the train was late. Now again we could have thought - no point hanging around on an icy station platform and gone home but we decided to wait.

And this is where I discovered that there are different kinds of waiting. There’s the kind of waiting where your computer has that little hour glass on it. You just sit there and do nothing. Or the waiting you do during a long sermon or lecture and you just doze off. Or there is the sort of waiting you do in  the cold where you keep moving to keep warm, you chat to people about what’s happening.

See the train arrive here

The Bible tells us that Christ will come again in glory - its written down, we say it each week in the eucharist. But we forget; we need people to remind us.

Jesus was more honest that a British Railways timetable - he said only His father knew the time and date of his return in glory. But he told his followers to wait.

But some people have forgotten and they need people to remind them. And because it’s cold and uncomfortable some people have got tired of waiting; they prefer their nice warm houses.

But here’s the difference - when Christ returns in glory there will be no mistaking it, there will be nowhere to hide and the joy of that little group on the platform of Clitheroe station will be as nothing to the joy of those who have been faithful to the end.


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