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Friday, December 24, 2004

 

Walk to Christmas

Every year we take the walk to Christmas. It is becoming a longer walk for most of us starting in the materialistic west in October and in some places earlier. December now is an entire month celebrating this winter festival period, which used to be enjoyed for at most a day.

Our old village Anglican Church this year took on labyrinth with a twist. We called it the Walk to Christmas and it used the 9 readings taken from the Nine Lessons and Carols service that is celebrated every year at Kings College Cambridge. Each prayer station had a bit of a devotional meditation to take us on the journey. It was so great to stop and spend time during this ‘stressful’ time and realise that this path is one we take every year and yet our journeys with God are ongoing and seldom feel like you are doing the same journey year on year.
I joked the other day that the church gets so stressed that we should think of having a jubilee Christmas every 7 years where we abstain from celebrations. Yet in this time I’ve realised the importance of annual pilgrimage. So often New Year gives us this time to reflect and come to a place of new beginning and new hope. Let’s hope it’s a good one, with plenty of cheer.

*My favourite station in our prayer week at church involved a map of Israel and Palestine. My friend Steve cut this up to make it into a jigsaw and left it apart such that when coming to pray one would complete the jigsaw puzzle.

Monday, December 20, 2004

 

Family Life

A time for giving, a time for sharing. The words of Cliff Richard really do it at this time of year.

Sadly advertising campaigns this year, particularly those internet companies have changed the sentiment that’s Christmas is all about receiving.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

 

Pilgrim's lack of progress

Being ill over the last couple of weeks has had it’s ups in that I picked up a copy of Pilgrim’s progress. Having had an interesting journey with Christ over the last few years and what with my work with the Boiler Room, a look at pilgrimage was overdue. Often in my journey it’s felt much like pilgrim’s lack of progress, what with the constant having to call in sick and feeling like you’re disappointing people. I know one thing I’ve been looking at in my life has been guilt, but really I should not feel guilty at all as I’m limited, we’re all limited by these bodies of ours and mine in particular limits me a lot. If people by don’t understand it’s their fault, and not mine and for The Evil One to keep whispering in my ear about guilt is not something that an already suffering body needs, so I’m not going to listen to him. Rather like Smeagol deciding not to listen to Gollum. At this point I have to say I’m don’t have multiple personality disorder quite like Gollum.

Not sure quite what to make of Pilgrim’s progress, not convinced by it at first but only due to the cheesiness in storytelling. It does make one wonder about writing a postmodern pilgrim’s progress. Although that makes one think that the word progress shouldn’t be contained in the title due to the rejection of science and progress. The thing that has been great in reading this book is that it was given to me by my late nanna when I was in my teens after confirmation. I’m so glad I didn’t read it then, it would have totally alienated me and caused me great confusion. It amazes me to think of my grandparents who have always been involved with the Church of England, having read this book. It’s been great to revel in their understanding of Christ and to think of my nanna being in ‘The Celestial City’ and also the idea of her trying to help her grandson on his spiritual journey is something to admire. I guess it’s those sort of things that seem poignant at this time of year.

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