This morning I gleefully opened my Walter Brueggeman book, only to discover that it doesn't start until Sunday. Ah well.
I opened my Festive Family Box, and the first reading to reflect upon was one I'm going to use on Sunday... Hmm!
So, in a spur of the moment decision, I decided I'd pick up on the theme of 'angels' we're using at church through Advent this year, and share an image, chosen each day, plus some sort of a 'stream of consciousness' thought!!
The Angel of the North is a huge sculpture in the north east of England. Living in in the west of Scotland, I'd have to go east and south in order to see it. That makes me chuckle a bit, and reminds me how relative any definition of place is, how we tend to define others in relation to ourselves, as if, somehow, we are the centre of the universe.
I haven't seen this staue in real life, but there is something about it's slightly industrial design and lack of arms that draws me to it... it's not a pretty angel, it's a rugged, earthy angel. It stands sentinel over a part of England that is simultaneously incredibly beautiful and incredibly pained.
Today I'm pondering the idea of angels as sentinels, as guardians if you like, watching over us, wherever we are, whatever our lives are like. A divine-inspired presence, unarmed (so peaceful) armless (so maybe maimed) quietly observing, and spreading its protective wings like hen shelters her chicks.
God whose angels stand sentinel over a bruised creation, guard us, we pray, on our journey through Advent, and bring us safe to the wonder of Christ's birth. Amen.