Advent 31

If I look it feels like the whole place is spinning,
everyone is so busy,
I cant look! I sit and try not to look.
I am scared.
I try not to see.
I try not to think.
If I think I can feel the wave begin to build,
I can hear it,
I know if I let it it will smash into the illusion,
I know that it will wash away the walls I’ve built,
I know they will crumble and truth will crash through,
and they will see.
I am scared.
If I look, I will see their joy,
the way they look at me in expectation,
and I will have to smile, even laugh.
and I will break.
The fear of what is coming and the loss of what was,
will rush and pound and pour through the cracks,
and they will see.
I am scared.
I know if I dont look I can hold on,
I know I can keep it together,
I know it will be over soon,
but right now I am scared.
I feel loved and I am seen,
some know,
some understand,
some look at me and I know they see,
I can’t look, I can’t catch their eye.
I am scared.
Very soon everything will be different,
but knowing that is no comfort.
I know I am blessed, I believe.
I heard the words, I joined the song,
but now it gets close, and,
I am scared.
I am so scared.

Advent 30

Stars poke holes through the blanket of the sky, letting hints of light through high above this lonely world.  Promising distances too far to imagine as they arc across the beyond.  Every so often one jumps from its place and streaks to oblivion, smearing it’s mark against the dark.  We sit mesmerised by the patterns and pictures telling stories of gods and heroes, beasts and queens.  Tales we learned as children sitting then in the comfort of home. The only constant is the gentle song of the sheep as they settle into the night.  Actually, the skies, though shifting and dancing are the same skies that we stared at as children.  This is our land, these are our hills, these are our stars.

Rulers and Governments come and go, leaders and armies pass into the night, but the stars are always there and probably always have been.  So we stare and we remember, we wonder about those who will sit in the same place gazing at the same constellations when we are long gone.  We have sat here so many times, for so many seasons, that there is no mystery for us in this place.  We have given our own names to every hill and gorge, every rock and star.  They’re probably not the right names but they are our names, we know them.  They punctuate our stories and our memories.  They map our days and nights and have done since we were but children.  We look, we don’t need to study, we talk about nothing and we wait for the sun amongst old friends of the land and sky.

And then the lights grew and began to sing… and we heard.

Advent 29 (solstice)

In the deepest night, when the darkness suffocates all sense, when we are driven into the stories of the mind and our fears and doubts are magnified, when the rising sun feels a generation away and time is eternally elongated, when the cold in the bones feels it will never leave… may the Son be born.

As the seasons of life fade into the winter, and we enter the dormant time, when the year has drained all energy from the body and the mind, when the spirit yearns for the breaking spring and warm air, when the ice blows in from the north and the chill wells from the ground, when the colours wash into stark tones… may the Son be born.

In a world of anger and isolation, when the stories tell of all pervading grief and conflict, when leaders fail to inspire and bring joyful vision, when greed pushes the weak into the earth and we watch as our damage seeps deep into the globe, when hatred and fear are objects of pride and power… may the Son be born.

In a time when many are trapped personal pain, when illness infects mind, body and soul, when sadness and emptiness sink deep and suck out life, when we reach too far for things which offer nothing and our obsession with individualism has left a chasm of loneliness, when more and more power is pulled by the gravity of wealth and fame from the hands of the ordinary… may the Son be born.

In a time of corrupt religion and abusive leaders, when there seems nothing left to believe or hope in, when faith has become a machine gun in the hands of terror and beliefs exclude and isolate, when we see questioning is a bad thing and vulnerability a problem to be solved, when spirituality has become a commodity… May the Son be born.

Advent 27

I don’t understand this energy that grows and flows, I should feel tired, I do feel tired, sleep is the momentary dark between the dreaming begins again. Before the colours begin to bounce around the walls and the stories re-emerge and paint themselves into my spirit.

But the energy is shifting and changing, I feel it sparking between you and I, between us and others. It is vibrant and so alive. It deprives me of sleep but sustains me when the tiredness drags. Then it stills me when I can take no more.

The energy of spirits connected, viscerally, physically connected. Not some ethereal, shadow of me-less connection but a real melding of us, reshaping, discovering, releasing me in ways I could not imagine, even in the night watches.

Here in the midst of this unsettling, this strange place life will burst. Here in this place where we are not at home we will find a new us, an us that encompasses so much more than we could be alone.

In you I find a new me, in me you become more you, in all of us together there is a spark of the greater divine, the God that is more than one. How can we see one as enough, when God is an ‘us’?

In the God that is ‘us’ all things are possible, nothing cannot be created, nothing cannot be loved. No desert cannot be flooded, no land must remain dry. The God that is ‘us’ makes us so much more as you are knitted in my being, as you grow within me and, yes, I grow within you. As we become ‘us’ there is nothing that God cannot do and nowhere God cannot go.

Oh how I dream between the sleep of where we will go, of what we will do! The possibilities sparkle with the energy that flows through the unknown, that lights a rainbow through futures unwritten! Oh how I feel the love! We don’t yet have our words for it, but that it is there there is no doubt, there is no fear!

So I dream and I wake, when all else sleeps. This energy, this love, this spirit we share and we give in our very being will not let me be still. The time to lie like death will come, but not yet, not now, now is a time to dream of birth.

Advent 25

The time of change speeds on the desert wind, over the Jordan water and the surface of the great lake, across the heights and through the valleys. Those that can hear, listen its voice is loud. Those that can feel, sense it filling the air with energy. It is there in the coming together of the great lights of the east.

It is calling a new way into life, a way which will flood the dry plains and nourish the world beyond these shores. Men will use it and abuse it for their own greed and power, they will use it to murder culture and destroy innocents. But they are not the true hosts of the new. The change will call the lovers and the children, the fragile and the meek, the martyr and the peacemaker. It will honour the ordinary for it begins in the womb of the ordinary. It will bless the powerless, the small and the humble who carry its name and its purpose.

It will witness the Temples fall and the Priests fail in the face of the child. It will see empires rise in power and collapse in disgrace. It will see dynasties descend into corruption and democracies become the plaything of the rich.

It will speak one name, a simple name that will endure despite those who speak it in hate and lie. It is a name of wonder and humility, of King and servant, Teacher and friend. It is the name spoken in the night by angels and the desperate alike.

The change is coming, always coming. Yesterday, today and forever.

Advent 22

Rehoboam made you his strength and on your soil David set his throne.
Many have fought for the right to your shelter, many have sought to make you their own.
Perched high on the hills of Judah, within reach of the most sacred place.
Behind the wall, the tower and fence, gripped firm by a concrete and wire embrace.
Precious city of many tongues, place of years and lives and history,
You gave to Rachel the gift of rest, sleep to Miriam the mother of mystery.
You are the inheritance of Ruth and Boaz and the ripest fruit of Jesse’s tree,
Sweet Bayt Lahm of scripture and song, calling of the pilgrims dream.
You stood sure under the stars as the angels sang, and before the soldiers gun,
Calling shalom to be reborn, in the blessing of the coming Son.