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Archive for December, 2006

Christmas thoughts

It’s Christmas Eve. Christmas, a time when we get to be all excited because we remember that this stuff we believe in, attempt to live by and cling onto in the darkness is actually true. The living Maker of the universe stepped down into His world, walked into history, became flesh, became like His creation. That’s a pretty awesome thing to get your head around. We don’t follow a cleverly invented story, we don’t follow a nice story to make us feel better. We have a faith based in history, based in events that happened, based on the reality of a God who wanted to come down to save his people. Who wanted to come amongst us, to give us hope, to transform our lives, to enable us to serve him without fear.

This is the greatest story, and it’s the story which we belong to, the story of our lives today. This is the hope and future we live in. History, which affects right here, right now and what is to come. The has been, the is happening and the will happen are the tenets of our lives. And as we remember we look back and see what has been, and so we trust and hope and delight in that affecting what is now and we look forward to the hope and guarantee of the future which is to come. Jesus stepped in and he’s going to do it again.

We have questions, we have queries, we don’t get it a lot of the time and we doubt. But through all of that runs the Truth, the stuff that keeps us walking, the stuff that keeps us remembering, the stuff that will not go away no matter how hard our rebellious hard hearts get.

Lets proclaim this at Christmas, lets hold onto our hope, lets live deeply and well in this present moment (no pun intended) because the Word has become flesh. Jesus is not ashamed to be identified with us weak humans because he became a weak little baby himself. God has come. God has come. Our tender, mighty, living, breathing, life giving, justice loving, mercy giver, Father, lover, Lord, friend and King has come. And will come. And is Here. Breathe in deep my friends and lift your soul to Him who loves and adores you and calls you to come and join the eternal world on offer.

Other writers have written this better than I could.

“God with man is now residing”
“Then angels tore the sky apart, a child was born, another start, a chance for all to regain their heart and soul, a simple birth that let us see, what we’re worth and who to be, the value of humanity once for all.”
“Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel”

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Fallowfield Crescent

I love my housemates. Today has been Christmas day in our house, thus we ate a lot of food, had lots of fun and exchanged wonderful presents. All this tinged with the sadness of not seeing each other for ages and then Birgitte leaving for distant continents. Lizzi wrote a sonnet for her. It’s beautiful and I share it here for your edification and joy. 🙂

“Let me not to the friends of Fallowfield
Admit impediment. Friends are not friends
Who make tea for one, or bear a grudge over washing up undone
O no! Friendship is an ever fixed mark
Though stretched over continents it will not fray
Like the fairy lights will never be put away
And though a different form will be
A picture on the door of ye
Our friendship alters not with numbered hours and weeks
But bears it out even unto parting
If this be error and upon me proved
We never dined nor no friends ever loved.”

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Psalm 23

I’m off to lie down in a green pasture for a week. Normal blogging/emailing/texting/365ing will be resumed next week. Until then ponder what we are waiting for, NOT an ethereal place with clouds, BUT a redeemed solid earth, new real bodies, perfect relationship with our Maker all guaranteed by the historical reality of the resurrection of the dead by Jesus. Certain hope. Reality that shapes all life now. Off you go, think about that for a bit, I have a green pasture to lie in.

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Christmas songs.

This man has taken the Christmas song genre to the limits and come up with some genius. Check it out here. Beautiful.

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Advent.

It is offically Advent. Offically a brilliant time to sit and contemplate, to sit still and find again the art of waiting. To stop and listen to the stirrings of Hope in this world. Remembering again that there is One who stepped into time and space, who took on the clothes of humanity and came to redeem and restore in this world. One who did not leave his people in darkness. One who came to bring in the dawn of new life, of real hope, of the beginning of the end. One who moved in and reshaped history. Advent, a time to reflect on the dark and begin to see again the glimmers of light that dance around and entice and gently lead us onwards.

The thing is, the thing that I have been reminded of this weekend, is that this takes time. We can’t live at our full pelt run around madly pace and expect to remember. We have to slow down to become aware of the presence of the Other in our lives. To overcome the insanity of needing to achieve to prove worth, the need to display our social calender to the watching world and the panic of needing to prove ourselves to others or ourselves. There is time in the day, we need to find it. I want to find it. This weekend has slowed my pace down and tomorrow I don’t want to race through again. Which means I will do less. Which means I will fill my head and senses with less, I will attempt not to pick up the TV remote as the first thing I do when I come into the house, I will attempt to only check blogs once in the day, I will attempt to not set my default reaction as ‘fill head with stuff and images and ideas’. Slowing down matters. Because I am loosing sight of the shepherd, and thus I am less of a person, less of a friend, less of a lover. I want to know Him again. I want my hand in His, I want to know His voice, I want this advent to be about Him and not my manic activity.

I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Hebrews 7 will furnish you with the answer to the quiz. Read it alongside the drawings and discover the genius of Jess.

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