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  • Born Among Us - Day 12

    This beautiful Chinese work of art is almost one hundred years old.  Painted by a convert to Christianity, the magi are portrayed as Buddhist monk (kneeling), a Confucian scholar, and the founder of Taoism holding the bottle.

    The resource leaflet says "All three schools in traditional Chinese culture come together to worship the Christ." We know nothing about the magi, but this idea certainly provokes thought.

  • Born Among Us - Day 11

    This beautiful Chinese paper cut by the artist He Qi begins our week,  The red paper is a sign of celebration, the symbols jpyful and beautiful .

    The lovely poem' Bethlehem Lies Dreaming' doesn't seem to be available online, but here is the final stanza...

    My bones, my flesh, my blood, my lungs and my
    heart were all made by his hand.  This night my
    heart is at peace, awaiting my creator's return.  My
    heart belongs to him, it is his home.

    Wang Wei-fan

  • Jesse Tree Day 12

    Half way now!  This symbol of the stump or root of Jesse represents the prophet Isaiah, who dreamed of the day when God's anointed one would arrive ushering a new era of peace.

    Half way through the traditional countdown, I am finding the busyness pressing in, reading is getting squeezed, and yesterday I had my 'Advent Tea Break' at 10 p.m.  Oops. Reminding myself to slow down again.

  • #TeamBelieve

    This year, Marks & Spencer launched a 'Christmas' jumper for women with the word 'believe' emblazoned on the front.  Suddenly, this became the 'must have' garment for women clergy to be sporting, with photos like this one spreading across social media.  Yesterday, after going to two separate branches of the store, I found one in my size, and, because I had a gift card to spend, bought it.  Just a bit if festive fun, and a jumper that's not 'just' for Christmas.

  • Born Among Us - Day 10

    Today's image is from Uganda and was painted in the 1980s.  It is influenced by the experience of many Ugandan people forced to flee under the rule of Idi Amin

    As a prayer, we used this poem by Malcolm Guite...

    We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
    Or cosy in a crib beside the font,
    But he is with a million displaced people
    On the long road of weariness and want.
    For even as we sing our final carol
    His family is up and on that road,
    Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
    Glancing behind and shouldering their load.
    Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower
    Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,
    The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
    And death squads spread their curse across the world.
    But every Herod dies, and comes alone
    To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.