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  • Advent Sunday (Advent 1)

    Today we will be thinking about waiting, and these verses will be part of that...

    For God alone my soul waits in silence;
       from him comes my salvation.
    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
       my fortress; I shall never be shaken.

    (Psalm 62: 1 - 2)

    The Lord is the everlasting God,
       the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He does not faint or grow weary;
       his understanding is unsearchable.
    He gives power to the faint,
       and strengthens the powerless.
    Even youths will faint and be weary,
       and the young will fall exhausted;
    but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
       they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
    they shall run and not be weary,
       they shall walk and not faint

    (Isaiah 40: 28 - 31)

  • The Eve of Advent...

    Tomorrow Advent begins, one of my favourite times of the liturgical year - there is something about short days and long, dark nights, damp dankness and the warming glow of lights on windows that always reaches my soul. 

    The hint of a promise of snow (oh how I love snow, being born into a world of snow in the 1962/63 winter) and the reality of rain; the shops with ridiculous offers and deals aimed to lure customers inside to overspend on goods they neither need or desire; the delicious smells wafting from restaurant doors and the arrival of red paper cups in certain coffee shops we shall not name.  The delightfully gaudy street decorations and the excited shine in the eyes of children; the choirs rehearsing carols and children practising their lines for the latest variant on an old, familiar tale...

    And amidst it all, the strangeness that is Advent - eschatology and incarnation all muddled up, penitence and celebration side by side... never quite sure what we are meant to contemplate but knowing that we should reflect on something.

    Advent Sunday tomorrow

    Advent calendars and challenges begin on Tuesday

    As we pause on the brink of Advent, I wish all my readers the blessing of wonder and love as we journey onwards together.

  • Any-Colour-But-Black Friday

    The emergence of so-called Black Friday intrigues and dismays me in roughly equal measure.  The so-called deals are only possible because someone, somewhere loses out - whether that is the person on a zero-hours contract or seasonal-worker who gets paid peanuts, whether that is the supplier or the delivery company.  It sure as heck is not the huge multi-nationals who cash in on people's love of a bargain.

    I had no plans to buy anything online today anyway, but I will be proactively choosing to spend any money I do spend in small, independent outlets, choosing, as appropriate, fairtrade, rainforest alliance or farm assured products for anything I do buy.

    I gather that many independent book shops are having 'civilised Saturday' tomorrow when they will offer enhanced service to customers, which sounds a far better idea to me!!