Tuesday 20 December
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.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Christmas, Observation, Reflection, Thought for the day
Tagged advent, baby, bethlehem, christmas, close, frorgetting, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, humanity, Jesus, link, mirror, new way, Peter’s, St, why
In the final week before Christmas I reflect back to the recent confirmation service where the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, asked the gathered congregation to look afresh at repentance. In fact he told us to see the turning round of repentance was simply look at every situation, and God’s kingdom in a new way.
Christianity has at its foundation a reassessment of the worldly to the extent that we run contrary to the world. Bishop Nick mentioned John the Baptist’s call and Israel’s expectation. Repentance: new eyes revealed not in a conquering king but a helpless baby. Not a winnowing fire, but a breath of a child.
So what will I see with new eyes today?
Father in this season where we await a birth of something familiar but then something completely radical, help me see with radical eyes: not just those in need, but those who can be aided by me; not just the lonely, but my companion; not just the sick but the beloved by you. And all in Jesus name. Amen.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Observation, Reflection, Uncategorized
Tagged advent, baby, bishop of leeds, child, christmas, God, hpc, huddersfield parish church, Jesus, John the Baptist, new way, nick baines, Peter’s, repentence, right revd nick baines, St
Saturday 17 December
I return to hope again and its fundamental part of our preparation for Christmas.
We have a pattern in Mary of what is possible. Mary wasn’t chosen for her status, her intelligence or even her holiness. Mary was ‘overshadowed’ because of her hope that stood outside the boundaries of convention and society.
Hope in God the Father of Mary’s forebears, hope in Jesus, the answer to our desire for God close and the Holy Spirit, the hope of presence still. These are the themes of hope demonstrated in nativity scenes and carols describing closeness, closeness in this baby born to Mary.
May I say that, all my hope on God is founded; it is he who renews my trust. Me, through change and chance, he guides. For only He is good and true. For it is God unknown, he alone calls my heart to be his own. Amen.
Posted in Advent, Advent thoughts, Insights, Observation, Reflection
Tagged advent, baby, call, christmas, convention, father, God, hope, hpc, huddersfield parish church, impressions, impressions from st pete's, Jesus, mary, overshadowed, society, st peter's, trust
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.)
Posted in Christmas, Stories, Thought for the day
Tagged christ, Christingle, christmas, daft, eclectic, eucharist, health and safety, Light, puppet
Wednesday 30 December
A reading for today was an abridges account of Anna recognising Jesus in the temple.
Anna praises God and tells everyone she meets something about the wonder of the visitation. She had spent her time in the temple day and night fasting and praying; but after touching Jesus her actions changes to proclamation.
Posted in Christmas, Christmas Thoughts, Reflection
Tagged anna, christmas, fasting, gospel, Jesus, luke, mary, praise, prayer, proclamation
Monday 28 DecemberThe shininess of the new baby has been over-taken by a weariness of disturbed sleep. Mary completely aware of every speak and silent breathe.
Nevermind ‘God with us’ what about simply ‘new life with us’ is all we need to understand of the incarnation.
Close enough to heighten the senses!