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.