...from Persian lands afar....
Yes, the Wise Men are back. Listen to their wise words over at Spiritually Directed. Thanks, Roberta!
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
Well, where else to take a donkey but to see a long-lost relative at the Christmas market. A kind lady agreed to pose with our hairy friends. The original plan - to have reindeer had to be changed, when Rudolf jumped over the fence and made off at top speed down the road.
Our holy family even got to take a trip on the train - down the line to take part in our Franciscan small group's Christmas meeting.
What else? Mr GP and I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas concert at church a couple of weeks ago and and last weekend I did manage to get to Nine Lessons and Carols. It never ceases to weave its magic for me. "The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it..." We all clutched on our candles as they burned lower and lower. Would that frail wavering light last out until the end of the penultimate carol? It was a near thing. But 'light and life to all he brings..." we got there at last - to the final triumphant "Hark! The herald angels sing. Glory to the new born king!" I kept my candle stump -as a reminder to myself of that light and hope.
And - unexpected bonus. I may not have been able to go to midnight mass myself this year but an unexpected call early on Christmas eve from a fellow sacristy helper who'd been taken ill meant I spent a quiet time that morning counting out hundreds of wafers, wine and assorted altar linen. All to the accompaniment of the childrens' groups rehearsing for the crib service next door. OK - maybe 'quiet' isn't the most apt word to use! Magic all the same. Although - I do think our church's children must be exceptionally well-behaved compared to most. It's the first time I've ever heard kids that age singing "Gabriel's Message" without trying to sneak in the "alternative words!"
Then on to a local rest home to visit a very elderly church member.
It may not have been quite what I'd planned for the day, but the best laid plans....
Sunday, 8 December 2013
O come, O come, thou swallow small,
responding to your infants' call,
fly far and wide across the earth
and end with hope our winter's dearth.
Rejoice! Rejoice! A tiny bird
shall show a truth that seems absurd.
- Jim Cotter from Expectant - Verses for Advent, Cairns Publications
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Christkindelmarket, like the one we knew when we lived in Alsace of course. Still, it's pretty close and to potter round, hot chocolate or mulled wine in hand, as darkness falls is just magical.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
You keep us waiting.
You, the God of all time,
Want us to wait for the right time in which to discover
Who we are, where we must go,
Who will be with us, and what we must do.
So, thank you…for the waiting time.
- John Bell