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  • Mischief

    Two quick bits of mischief before I forget them again.

    Firstly, is anyone else tempted, one Sunday to persuade the entire congregation to sneak into the corridor/hall/crpyt/undercroft/school room/churchyard and hide, having left a note for the late comers saying "the rapture came, you missed it"?

    Secondly, if during Sunday worship the fire alarm went off (or in buildings without alarms a hint of fire was observed) would the right thing for the preacher to say be "turn or burn"?

    Have a Happy New Year when it comes... I'm way down south tomorrow without a laptop so no definitely posting for a while.

  • Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Goodnight!

    Been a very busy couple of days - and in terms of physical labour I've done a fraction of what others have done.

    Yesterday afternoon "the people kept a comin'" to our afternoon tea, story-telling, christingles and carols event... we had expected about 30 based on replies and it was more like forty in the end - even though a few who'd hoped to come didn't make it!  Thankfully it did not descend into total chaos, and a good, gentle, time was had by all.

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    Today we met 'cafe style' with coffee pre-service and welcomed a number of visitors to join with those of us spending Christmas at home... folk from Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia, USA... and England!  Once more they kept arriving, and our slightly mad, heavily interactive service went well.  Then it was all hands on deck to serve Christmas dinner to around 40 guests, before finally returning home to flop.

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    This time last year I was just stepping out of work for four months as I awaited and then had surgery.  I'd enjoyed the services and events, but a cloud of anxiety had lurked nearby.  This year I have enjoyed them whole-heartedly, and last year feels, just now anyway, a vague memory.

    One little funny thing - my Christmas gifts incliude two pairs of gloves, a scarf, two woolly jumpers and a microwave hot water bottle type thing... given I am currently drenched by a 'tropical moment' I don't think they'll be getting much use any time soon!

    I am now 'off' for about 10 days - a couple of Bank Holidays and then a week of leave.  Blogging light - and hopefully plenty of resting.

    Merry Christmas everyone... back in the New Year!

  • Christmas Day

    A nice little circularity here - the Northumbria Community readings repeat the Isaiah verses with which I began my Advent reflections, and couple them with two other bits:

    Psalm 139:12

    Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

    Isaiah 45:3,7

    I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name...  I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things

    1 Corinthians 4:5

    Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of human hearts. At that time each will receive praise from God

    The darkness passes, light returns... we celebrate again the word made flesh.

    I cannot know how life is for the majority of people generous enough to read this blog, indeed there are many whose names I will never know.  I don't want to say twee or naff things about this day, because some of you will be struggling to come to terms with tragedy, some of you will be stressed, some of you will be angry, some of you will be bewildered...  But on this day we dare to hope again that peace will pervade the earth, that joy will prove unstoppable and that love will transform even the hardest of hearts.

    May God bless each and every one of you this day, and grant you, and those you love, a hope-filled, peaceful, joyful and loving 2012.

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS!