I’m putting my faith in Je­sus

Alas­dair Kay

Derby Telegraph - - LETTERS -

WE are in the sea­son of Ad­vent. A time we of­ten as­so­ciate with choco­late-filled cal­en­dars. The rea­son for choco­late cal­en­dars is that dur­ing Ad­vent we cel­e­brate the feast of St Ni­cholas, the Turk­ish saint, who was Bishop of Myra, whose feast day is Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 6.

From this tradition came the tradition of hid­ing choco­late in peo­ple’s shoes. But I di­gress. Ad­vent is a time where we wait for the com­ing of our Lord and Saviour Je­sus Christ. Dur­ing it we con­sider our lives in the light of the fu­ture judge­ment.

Ad­vent is a pen­i­ten­tial sea­son in the church, a time to get right with God in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the joy of Christmas.

In Septem­ber my wife de­cided we were hav­ing a sec­ond dog. So a bea­gle puppy ap­peared, a play­mate for our older bea­gle, Bessie. Bea­gles are full on, cute, but full of mis­chief, stub­born and ca­pa­ble of es­cap­ing from any­where.

When I got home the other day I asked my wife if Patch had been good. Her re­ply was a the­o­log­i­cal trea­tise. “It’s not that he doesn’t want to be good. He just hasn’t got it in him to be good.”

Oh how true that is of all of us. The faults of oth­ers are so much more ev­i­dent than our own. Yet many of us can be our own fiercest crit­ics. The truth is, all of us are found want­ing. We can only “be as good as we are ca­pa­ble of be­ing”. This brings me back to St Ni­cholas. St Nick has passed into mod­ern leg­end as Santa Claus, with his naughty or nice list and look­ing out for who’s been good and who hasn’t. His ethics ap­pear just. The prob­lem is, none of us would likely make Santa’s nice list. Me more than most be­cause I am only as good as I am ca­pa­ble of be­ing and even then not al­ways.

That is why I wait this Ad­vent, putting my faith in the Son of God. Je­sus is the one who would come to be my good­ness. Je­sus is the one who would, out of pure love, give me his for­give­ness, who came to Earth to die that I might be right for heaven. Je­sus is the one who, by his spirit, is mak­ing me more ca­pa­ble than I am able to be. The one who shows us all what “good ca­pa­bil­ity” looks like and the one in whom we can place all our hope.

Priest in Charge at St Fran­cis, Mack­worth

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