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  • A Poem, a Picture and a Prayer - Day 1

    Today's poem is Ode to Winter by Gillian Clarke, which I reproduced on this blog seven years ago (eek!) here, should you wish to read it.

    The photo is of the window of one of my down stairs neighbours, who put the candlabra up about a week before advent began.

    And the prayer, which is my own work!

    God of all seasons,

    Who established the gentle rhythms of nature. and blessed us with both darkness and light,

    At the start of this Advent season, as we make space this day to become aware of you,

    May the gentle warmth of your love surround us,

    And the unquenchable flicker of hope sustain us,

    That by day and by night, we may rest in you.


  • The First Blessing

    It's a tiny candle, the kind that are used for Hannukah, made of beeswax and intended to burn for about twenty to thirty minutes.

    Pausing to sit and watch the flicker of candle light in the window... time to be still and quiet... time to savour the simple beauty of a candle flame defying the darkness of night, and taking its place alongside street lights and the stars.

    The light shines in the darkness; and the darkness can never overcome it.


  • Advent Begins...

    This morning the good people of the Gathering Place were finally permitted to open the mysterious brown boxes that had been sent to them by post.

    Inside was, to all intents and purposes, an Advent Calendar with a difference... a Bag of Blessings, with something for each day up to and including Christmas Day.

    This morning we prayed for the courage to hope, thought about the interconnectedness of faith and hope, and gave thanks for the little shoots of new growth that are the signs of God's inbreaking kingdom.

    Over the coming days, look out for more objects from the bags!

  • Advent 1 - Hope

    Advent, we tell ourselves, is a journey.

    Advent, we remind oursleves, shares its etymology with 'adventure', something we tend to think of as exciting and daring.

    Advent, the scholars tell us is a word that means 'coming'

    All of these are true... it is an exiciting and daring journey of hearts and minds as we seek the one who has come, who is coming, and who will come.

    And so it is a season characterised by hope.

    Not hope as wishful thinking, that 'it would be really nice if...'

    Not hope as 'if only...'

    But hope as chosen trust in the promises of God that will see all creation renewed.


    Hope Street, then, a road that we follow on our way to Bethlehem.

    Will you join the journey?

  • It's been a while...

    This poor old blog has been rather neglected of late, life is has been filled with all sorts of good things, and time to pause and post has been squeezed out.

    So, if anyone is still kind enough to be reading this, there is news - hopefully good - that Advent will see a return to daily posting... an Advent Calendar of sorts which will link to one of more of the other Advent things with which I am involved.

    There will be photos/pictures, there may be poems or links to where to find them, there may even by the odd thought or prayer.

    For now, though, maybe what we need is a little frivolity...