11. When Mary and Joseph arrived in Nazareth, there was no room in the inn.
‘There was no room’ makes a sadness well up in me. I have been told of broken lives and relationships that floundered because there was ‘no room’. A heart rejected, a job made redundant, a love mislaid or a plea forsaken.
We proclaim grace unlimited but can act as if for someone else there is ‘no room’. The Advent call is to repentance and restoration. If you have signalled ‘no room’ how do you repent and restore?
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Observation, Reflection
Tagged A heart rejected, a job made redundant, a love mislaid, a plea forsaken, advent, hollow, inn, no room, repent, restore, stable
3. About 2000 years ago, there was a young Woman called Mary, and a young Man called Joseph.
Specific in a time, specific in location and specifically for two people. Ordinary in their culture the story is set. On one hand pinpointed within history and yet unremarkable in the persons involved. The incarnation is place in time and yet seemly random in Joseph an Mary. They are not who we would choose in salvation’s vision but they are where the story becomes real, beyond prophesy. If these two, why not you?bYou are also a part of God’s involvement in humanity specific in a time and specific in location.
Give thanks today for your blessings today. But then dwell on what can be in the Kingdom of God here and now.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Observation, Reflection
Tagged advent, huddersfield parish church, joseph, locatiom, mary, pregnat, specific, time
2. God made all things: the sky and the land, the heavens and the earth; and they were good.
I recall a response that always comes to mind when I hear the phrase: “God is good!” My knee jerk reaction is, “All of the time!” When you look at the creation stories the regular phrase used is, “and God saw that it was good.” Advent is a time when we may look at all that is amiss in the world but recognise that ‘goodness’ is an element of the spirit of God. An Advent theme is repentance but also an acknowledgment that we seek what is good in the world, that even in the tainted and ugly situations we may bring the lovely and good. Jesus found the kernel of his Father’s goodness and grace in the most unlikely of people.
Today look at the most tainted events in the news and look for God’s grace embedded there, pray that goodness may prevail.
1. In the beginning there was God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The focus of Advent would usually be the coming of Jesus at Christmas and His return. Yet as we retell the Christmas story through the Huddersfield Parish Church Advent calendar the writer of our account begins with the opening from Genesis: “in the beginning”. We are asked then immediately to broadens out our vision straight into the Trinity. We are taken from the beginning of creation and drawn into the fuller Jesus story; our very salvation. So as we wait for the coming we should remember “God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is with us on the anticipated journey.
Pray at the start of this Advent journey for God accompanying us through the retelling and our thoughts that develop
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection
Tagged advent, beginning, christmas, father, holy spirit, prayer, son
Saturday 24 December
The baby was wrapped in bands of cloth an placed in a manger.
This is, of course, the same person whose body would be wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in the tomb.
As a baby and as the adult servant King helpless and dependent on others. Giving up himself to the wills of humanity. God still comes to us, emptying himself so that we might meet him.
Can we ever be as vulnerable as him?
Can we open ourselves to the will and love and life of God as he meets us this Christmas?
Almighty God, who has power beyond all that we can comprehend, you meet us in the form of a tiny baby and broken body. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to put aside all pride and so to be ready to welcome you as Mary did with open arms. Amen.
Posted in Advent, Christmas, Christmas Thoughts, Observation, Reflection, Stories, Thought for the day
Tagged advent, baby, christmas, God, god's will, helpless, holy spirit, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, king, manger, mary, Peter’s, servant, servant king, St, tomb, vunerable, wrapped
Friday 22 December
The baby Jesus was placed in a manger. Not the picturesque mangers we see in nativity plays, but an animals’ feeding trough.
Meals were an important part of Jesus’ life, he shared meals with those people that we would probably not want invite into our homes if we knew them today.
And then Jesus became a meal. Body and blood given for you. Given to all those who come to him.
None of us deserve it and none can earn it. We can only take what Christ offers and remember that as we eat his holy meal we are elevated into his kingship and brought down into the manger of that first Christmas.
This Christmas as we encounter Christ coming, let us say, “For what we about to receive make us truly thankful. Amen.”
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Christmas, Observation, Reflection, Stories, Thought for the day
Tagged advent, amen, baby, blood, body, body and blood, christ, christmas, God, home, hpc, huddersfield parish church, invite, Jesus, manger, meal, nativity, Peter’s, receive, St, trough
Thursday 21 December
The letter to Titus says, “The goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared….” We will hear about the ‘Word becoming flesh’ but let us look with new eyes that regard the significance afresh. See that the ‘Word’ was the ‘goodness and loving-kindness of God’
This extended description was contain in the Christ-child, grew into the man who was to prove this ‘goodness and loving-kindness’ even to the cross, and sealed in his resurrection.
How are we to react to this trait of God found in Jesus. Coo at the baby in a manger and forget his presence on Boxing Day? Perhaps we are invited to find out a little more and work and pray daily to be a part of that ‘goodness and loving-kindness.’
Make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred let me bring your love, where there is injury, your pardon Lord and where there’s doubt, true faith in you. Make me a channel of your peace, where there’s despair in life let me bring hope, where there is darkness, only light and where there’s sadness ever joy. Oh, master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console to be understood as to understand. Amen
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Christmas, Insights, Observation, Stories
Tagged advent, baby, boxing day, channel, christ-child, christmas, coo, Cross, God, goodness, grant, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, loving kindness, Peace, Peter’s, saviour, seek, St, Titus