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- Page 4

  • Advent 4 - Love

    It has been a very busy fourth Sunday in Advent, and not without its challenges.

    This morning and this evening the same set of opening responses had been chosen by those who were leading (which probably means they come from Iona)...


    Leader:                       Light looked down and saw darkness

    All:                             ‘I WILL GO THERE’, SAID LIGHT

    Leader:                       Peace looked down and saw war

    All:                             ‘I WILL GO THERE’, SAID PEACE

    Leader:                       Love looked down and saw hatred

    All:                             ‘I WILL GO THERE’, SAID LOVE

    Leader:                       So he, the Lord of light

                                      The Prince of Peace

                                      The Kind of Love

                                      Came down and crept in beside us


    There is something very striking about the deliberate entering of the positives in to the negatives... light chooses to enter darkness, peace chooses to enter war, love chooses to enter hate.  I find that pretty challenging - it takes 'love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you' to a new level... not just done in some abstract or private way, but through active engagement.  To be honest, I like to avoid conflict, and I quite like the abstract, safe, praying from the safety of home or church... the challenge of love is to get involved... not in a boisterous way but by creeping in alongside.

    I've had a lot of fun today - the Sunday School led service was delightful and the evening Carol Service gave me opportunity to sing with the choir - elsewhere people I know have had far more difficult days.  Somehow, if only we are able to detect it, God's love is part of our days whatever they are like... when we hurt, so does God, when we smile, God smiles too.

    I have many things to ponder tonight... not least the mystery of love incarnate in a helpless baby.


  • More Amusement

    Demonstrating that oldies are goodies...

    HT Perpetua for this one:


    And RB for this:

  • Third Week in Advent: Saturday

    Psalm 66: 10 - 13

    Daniel 3:26 - 27

    2 Corinthians 4:6-7

    Now, if you want a random set of readings, this is surely it!

    So, which shall I ponder?  Given the psalm extract stops half way through a sentence, and the Daniel is so far out of context as to be pretty meaningless, I'll opt for the lovely verses from 2 Corinthians:

    For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

    I think that perhaps of all the verses I've played with this week, it is in this one that something of the essence of joy is actually seen... it is in some ways part of the treasure held in paper cups (vessls of clay, disposable, cheap, throw-away).  It is a product of the light of God, i.e. Christ, within our hearts, transforming us.

    Today I received a birthday gift through the post called a light jar - it sounds a bit odd perhaps, essentially it looks like a kilner jar but the lid contains a solar cell that, once charged, lights the bulb housed in the jar proper.  This is probably headed the way of cheesy sermon illustrations, but somehow maybe our faith allows us to be 'charged up', to have our joy refreshed and renewed?  Tomorrow lots of churches will be singing carols by the light of candles and torches, so maybe it's an appropriate point to have reached today?

    Aware of our own vulnerability

    The ease with which our fragile hopes are shattered

    Our dreams destroyed

    We offer our hearts to be filled afresh with joy

    With the light of Christ

    That the darkest darkness can never defeat

    Wondering that you, great God,

    Would place something so precious in us

    And trust us

    To be light jars in a dark world


  • Paperless Christmas 2011

    Go here for a gentle, thoughtful telling of the nativity and beyond...

  • Unofficial Photo


    An informal photo taken after the graduation ceremony today... more will follow in due course, including, possibly, me with snow falling all around me!

    It was a great day, many thanks to G & G who came as my guests, and renewed an acquaintance from their youff darn sarf.  Also to the lovely people at LKH who included me in their celebration lunch despite me being a direct U of M student.