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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life

  • Born Among Us - Day 4

    This image comes from Nicaragua.  The banner being carried by the messenger/angel reads "I come to tell them that in Nicaragua the new man has been born'

    We used a version of the Lord's Prayer from Nicaragua...

    Our Father, who art in this our land,
    May your name be blessed
    in our incessant search for justice and peace.
    May your Kingdom come
    For those who have for centuries awaited a life with dignity.
    May your will be done on earth and in heaven
    And in the Church of Central America,
    A church on the side of the poor.
    Give us today our daily bread to build a new society.
    Forgive us our trespasses,
    Do let let us fall into the temptation
    Of believing ourselves already new men and women.
    And deliver us from the evil of war
    And from the evil of forgetting that our lives
    And the life of this country are in your hands.

  • Jesse Tree - Day 2 - The 'Fall'

    The story from Genesis 2 relates to what one writer termed 'the human propensity to f*** things up' - or, sin, or the simple truth that freedom brings responsibility, and choices have consequences.

    Personal or corporate, commission or omission, ignorance, weakness or deliberate fault... humans mess up.

    Thankfully, God forgives us not once, not 70 x 7 times, but every single time.

    Today is a 'heavy' theme, inviting us to recall our regrets - but we do so in order to let them go, to be forgiven, healed and renewed.

    (Oh, and it really wasn't an apple, or why would we still eat them?!)

  • Born Among Us - Day 3

    Illustrations from a children's book of the Huron Carol

    'twas in the moon of winter-time
    when all the birds had fled,
    that mighty gitchi Manitou
    sent angel choirs instead;
    before the light the stars grew dim,
    and wondering hunters herd the hymn:
    "Jesus your king is born, Jesus is born,
    in excelsis Gloria."

    within a lodge of broken bark
    the tender babe was found,
    a raged robe of rabbit skin
    enwrapp'd his beauty round;
    but as the hunter braves drew nigh,
    the angel song rang loud and high...

    the earliest moon of winter-time
    is not so round and fair,
    as was the ring of glory
    on the helpless infant there;
    the chiefs from far before him knelt
    with gifts of fox and beaver pelt...

    O children of the forest free,
    O sons of Manitou,
    The Holy Child of earth and heaven
    Is born today for you.
    Come kneel before the radiant Boy
    Who brings you beauty, peace and joy...

    You can listen to a version of it here...

  • Spooky Spice Tea - and a 'Hmm'

    Today I have the first cup of Advent Calendar tea!  It is a blend called 'Spooky Spice.'  I expect it's aimed at Halloween rather than Advent, but never mind, 'spooky' is one of the words I use to describe the moments when I sense the activity of God's Spirit in my life.

    So, I have my cup of tea, and I open up the first reading from 'Honest Advent' and it focuses on the story of the Annunciation, and invites us to ponder the kind of revelations we might invite, and the kind of revelations we actually experience.

    I have a 'hmm' moment, flashing back to the second Sunday in Advent 1997, and the incredible moment that God spoke to me with unmistakable clarity, calling me to ordained ministry 'you, preach the word, be ready in season and out of season.'  Almost quarter of a century later (how on earth - or in heaven - did that happen) I still feel that mix of terror and certainty, as I knew that to say 'yes' would irrevocably change my life.

    Sometimes, I feel like a grumpy old minister, cynical with age, and then in a spooky moment, God touches me afresh.

    If you read this chapter of this book, do so carefully, and take it seriously - saying 'yes' to God will mess with your life-plans...

    At its best, it will be so incredibly wonderful, and at its worst, so utterly awful, but in it all, you will know that for this God called you - here I am am Lord, let it be to me according to your will. 

  • The Jesse Tree - Day 1 - Creation

    Today we begin to add symbols to our Jesse tree - or if not to literally do so, then maybe to ponder the themes.

    The first theme is creation, and an invitation to identify, and thank God for, 'our favourite things' - which may, or may not, include raindrops on roses or warm woolen mittens!

    Here are a few of mine (not necessarily in any kind of order)

    Cats

    Dandelions

    The River Clyde

    The moon

    Sunsets

    Tea leaves (from which to make tea)

    Crunchy autumn leaves

    Snow

    Crunchy salad leaves

    Opposable thumbs

    Bird song

    Cocoa

    The hour just before dawn

    Swans

    Squirrels

    Tigers

    Pansies

    Daffodils

    What would you add?

    Thank you, God, for this wonderful world of which I am just a tiny part. Help me not only to delight in it, but also to treasure and care for it.