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The Parish Church of the Ascension
Middlesbrough
SUNDAY 23rd September 2018 – Trinity 16
9:15 am Parish Mass
Celebrant & Preacher Revd Peter Bristow
Wednesday 26th September 2018 9:15 AM Mass
Celebrant – Revd Angela Bailey
SUNDAY 30th September  2018 – TRINITY 17
9:15   Parish Mass
Celebrant & Preacher Revd Peter Bristow

There is a programme on television at the moment called, ‘The Repair Shop,’ where a team of dedicated craftspeople renovate objects that might otherwise be thrown away. The things that are brought to the workshop can be ornaments, toys, clocks or pieces of furniture but all of them are precious to their owners. Their value lies not only in their monetary value but in what they represent; memories of childhood or of well loved grandparents. Some are heirlooms that are passed from one generation to another to keep alive the memory of a story of bravery or of overcoming a tragedy. There is always a great deal of love, not only for the objects themselves, but for the love that has been passed on through them.

 

I am always fascinated by the care taken in the renovation as each object is taken apart piece by piece and lovingly cleaned. If the tiniest piece is missing the metal worker or joiner spends time and patience making a new one however intricate. The owners need to have complete trust in the restorers and, when they see their treasures restored to their original condition, they are often moved to tears. Their joy is shared by those who have completed the work. If such love can be lavished on inanimate objects which, in themselves, cannot love us in return then how much more should we long to bring the people we love to be made healthy and whole by God the Father? In prayer we place them into his hands and in complete trust. He is the master craftsman who, as psalm 139 tells us ‘knit us together in our mother’s womb as our bones were being formed.’ He waits for us to bring the broken pieces of our lives to him that he might restore them. In faith we can ask him to take ourselves and make us new. Material objects can be given a face lift but we come to God for a ‘faith lift.’

 

The hymn, ‘Come thou Holy Paraclete,’ was written 800 years ago but it carries a universal message of hope that God will bring about our wholeness and healing when we trust him with our brokenness.

 

‘What is soiled make thou pure, What is wounded work its cure,

‘What is parched fructify.

‘What is rigid gently bend, What is frozen warmly tend,

‘Pardon what goes errringly.’

 

 

 

Marion

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