Category Archives: Christmas

Story

Wednesday 21 December

 story

How stories fire the imagination. Old classics be they fairy tales or myths from legend. Expressions of humanity that underline significant desires to recognise the good, the potential and positives of life and our desire for them to be ‘right’.

A fine story sets the scene, sets down markers for us to equate ourselves alongside. Place, people and character information give us a sense of the narrative and make the whole tale personal to us.

When you look at Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth all these elements are laid out for us. The incarnation needs a place, a cast of characters and some  background.

We all know the traditional birth narrative. It is close to our hearts in its simplicity, but its familiarity may hide the stark and most important facts.

Looking with new eyes – within eternity God chose to place Jesus in a small town in Israel at a particular point in that country’s history. He was born to a specific mother in an unconventional family for the time. This birth was not heralded in a royal court, but in some dark, similarly insignificant countryside.

If there, if then, if……then why not to me, here in my unworthy circumstance.

That is the amazing point of the incarnation, it speaks of new possibilities.

As I read or hear the Christmas story anew, may   I see, my I know the desire of God to be a part   of my existence and the lives of those among whom I move. God of entity you are ultimately the God  of an infinite number of moments in time when you break into the human state. In Jesus, in me and  in my neighbour. Grant me grace to live as part  of your story. Amen

 

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Mirror

Tuesday 20 December

mirror

 

Looking at a totally new way? Well,  we could start by forgetting  everything we know about Jesus, his birth, growing, ministry, death and  resurrection. You see we come to    Christmas with the account from last year embedded in us; our knowledge,   understanding and experience.

A new way?  That God becomes a raw slip of  humanity; in an insignificant state before the ‘dark ages’ had begun.

The question to ask is  simply ‘Why?’

That is the question submerged beneath our knowledge, understanding and experience. Look in a mirror, closely at yourself and then reflect.

Jesus born so long ago into insignificance gives you an eternal link to God. Not a distant ethereal link but by flesh and blood, physical, emotional and  spiritual link.

Lord, when I think you are distant, remind me that I can see your humanity revealed in Jesus by looking in a mirror. In barest humanity the baby at Bethlehem brought you into our bodily sphere – close and a human person like me.

 

Image

Collect and Readings for Christmas Day

xmasreadings

What is Praise?

Tuesday 2 February

A Christingle service is a health and safety nightmare. It would never pass the rigours of a strident H&S brigade. It would not be a liturgical highlight in my calendar.

However Sunday’s Christingle I was touched on many levels.

 Shine Jesus Shine, Sing Christingle, Hail Gladdening Light and a Stanford Nunc Dimmittis. A church circled with folk holding Christingles, a puppet and a formal communion. Ceremony, daftness, wonderful eclectic music mix and a family together closing Christmas and celebrating light.

Praise on many forms and many levels.

The rest of the day followed a similar varied mix ( see the Huddersfield Parish Church site.)

Life in All Its Fulness

Friday 29 January 

Getting ready to resource Lent has got me thinking. There is nothing like precising five books, five films and the lyrics to numerous piece of music to drag you off into many areas of thought. 

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach, for example, is a book from my own formation and is akin to this week’s blog because of its focus on self awareness and the subsequent heightening our understanding.

Jesus said that he came to give life in all its fullness.

A Hand in the Dish.

Thursday 28 January

Matthew 26: 17-35 was the reading at morning prayer the other day. We heard the account from the last supper when Jesus pointed out the one to betray him was the one who dipped the bread in the bowl. Then Judas name is mentioned and we all tend to nod and recognise the “bad ‘un”.

And then one of those moments of awareness.

The account goes on to tell of Jesus  predicting the abandonment by all the disciples. Did not they all dip bread with him, weren’t all of them betrayers of trust?

We all look for the Judas without recognising our hand in the dish.

Context 4

Sunday 24 January

Prayers today are for the church in context.

An area in the Anglican Communion place outside the circle (and a possibility of fixing the date of Easter.)

One particular area of the church has worked on their own time, and a little quicker than others, on something objectionable to another part of the church. The result? That part of the church has been barred from functioning  within the communion, as opposed to recognition of the different context and the validity of such contexts, in context as it were. I cannot see that this is of benefit to anyone.

Billy Connolly wrote:

“Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares?…..he’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes.”

Another boxed ticked!

Prayer is needed indeed!