Sunday, 6 December 2015

Advent Daily #6 Traditions

A day off from posting yesterday - very necessary as I don't think I had a spare minute in the day to write anything! Having written the day before about hurrying, I fell under that spell and rushed from one thing to another and collapsed about midnight....and now I'm wide awake at 3.30am having probably eaten something I shouldn't. So in a way, I haven't missed a day, am just posting late!

But it's a welcome bit of space none the less. I have done some catching up on Advent blogs that I had bookmarked for future reference, one of those being from our friend Jack who blogs at He says this:

The seasons of the Christian year lead us into depths that human beings will neither exhaust nor fully comprehend. The essence of any God-given mystery is that there is always some new dimension awaiting our discovery. We will never touch the bottom of this sea. 
Yet each season of the Christian year invites a deeper discovery of the mystery of salvation given through Jesus. Entering Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter is not simply a rote rehearsal of what we already know about Jesus. Each season summons us to explore that which we have not yet seen about the beauty and mystery of God.

Under today's word of Tradition, I've been wondering how those things we do year in, year out, bring depth to our Christian year. Certainly at Christmas it's particularly noticeable but each of us has our own different and distinctive ways. Just as each season of the Christian year shouldn't just become a repetition of what we did last year, so too our Advent and Christmas traditions should form a reflective basis for our own deepening faith. 

Yesterday I took my kids (and M's friend P) to see a production of A Christmas Cracker, performed by the Riding Lights Theatre Company. In amongst the great storytelling, funny slapstick comedy, songs and puppets was a realisation - that a great story is where you always find a nugget of undiscovered truth in amongst all the drama and embellishments and hyperbole.
The setting of the show was a stable, not in Bethlehem but a field somewhere in England, owned by Mrs McGinty and the storyteller and her sidekick dog shelter there for the night. Mrs McGinty wants a story all of her own, and the two visitors proceed to tell the story of Jesus birth and those who visited him - the marginalised, the unexpected, the wise and the celestial. An age old, traditional story and one which certainly the 8 and 9 year olds in my company already had a good grasp of, embellishments and all. But the comments of P afterwards showed how the traditional story had come alive in a new way: "So, what she's saying is that, if Jesus had been born now, I could have been one of the first people to visit him?" she says.......#sniff

The Coming

And God held in his handA small globe. Look, he said.The son looked. Far off,As through water, he sawA scorched land of fierceColour. The light burnedThere; crusted buildingsCast their shadows; a brightSerpent, a riverUncoiled itself, radiantWith slime.
                 On a bareHill a bare tree saddenedThe sky. Many peopleHeld out their thin armsTo it, as though waitingFor a vanished AprilTo return to its crossed Boughs. The son watchedThem. Let me go there, he said.

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