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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

21 November 2018: Rev'd Stephen Wright, Petersfield Methodist Church

Of autumn colours, ageing and wisdom

I love the colours of autumn. Driving up and down the A3 as I do, I have plenty of time to enjoy them. The trees seldom look so good. Undoubtedly, there is a scientific explanation of why green turns to gold, but there is symbolism too.

I am not the only one who has thought that they point to the glorious potential of age. Not, of course, that this is always realised. On the other hand, the idea that age can be seen as a positive thing, is close to revolutionary these days.

As I was preparing this, I came across the story of a Dutchman, who at 69, is applying to legally change his age, to become twenty years younger, so as to enhance his dating and employment prospects.

We live in an age which places enormous value on youth, novelty and the new. It was not always so. In other eras, wrinkles were not always a thing to hide away, but a sign that you knew a thing or two about life and were ready for great responsibilities. It was frequently associated with maturity and wisdom.

As our population ages (18% are 65 or over), perhaps we need to have a greater appreciation of the positives age can bring.

I could not end without also pointing to the value of something else that has been around for a while. The Christian faith is easily dismissed because of its longevity, and yes, some of it looks distinctly wrinkly from a modern point of view, but there is also gold, if we take the time to look.

Petersfield Nativity Set Festival will take place at the methodist Church on Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th of December - if you can lend a Nativity Set please contact them

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