Happy Christmas

May you blessed in the dawning of the true light that chases away the darkness.

May you be blessed in the birthing of a new future where grace rules.

May you be blessed in the shining of prodigal peace, whatever your story.

May the father & mother God look on you with mercy and love.

May the Son grant you the knowledge of the love and acceptance of God.

May you be blessed by Creator,

Redeemed by the Son,

Given breath by the Spirit

Amen

Advent 32

Romans 8:22

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

There is a deep swell in the earth. She writhes and aches, she cannot settle. She can find no place or pose of comfort. Rest and peace are beyond her reach. There are no words, and if there were no breath to carry them. All she can do is exhale the noises of deep animal loss as the waves of energy pull at her very core.

She is afraid, afraid that she will rip and burst, that the heat within will flow as torrents of burning rock, consuming everything. Afraid that she cannot hold this tension, each twist and tug a battle for balance. The fear of being torn, of all that is rooted crumbling in a cacophony of quake and blast. All around her war is raging, violence spreads and flows like unstaunchable blood. Storms batter her from without and within, but she must ride them, she must breathe. For the time is almost here.

She labours in the light and in the dark, feeding, quenching, nourishing, reaching deep and drawing life from the dirt she bears. She was made to carry life within and to birth new times and new hopes. She pours water into the barren places and rivers flow in her dry lands so life can swell and bloom. She warms the oceans with her pulsing heart so that currents keep the life in motion. The gifts she gives are our daily bread.

Yet she groans in pain and anticipation, for birth is coming, coming soon. In final hours the pain becomes all, the groans her only language, the expectation overwhelming, the hope flooding, the struggle all encompassing.

This it the earth, our mother, our home. We her children are now midwives of the future that is not written. This is God, our father. We his children are the bearers of the life that is to come.

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 13

The road is a lonely place to wake, every grain of earth and fallen leaf is new. The way the light breaks through the landscape, the smell on the first breath of wind, when the silence is split by alien cries and dawn greets in a foreign tongue.

Eyes take time to adjust and the mind a moment behind. The body feels all out of place and time, as it stretches the aches of the night, easing joints bruised by the makeshift rest and limbs weary from the road. The sights and smells, sounds and sensations of yesterday now weave into the whole journey’s pattern as space for today is made.

Breaking the fast brings some grounding. Watching companions feeling their skin, tired, tight and rough. Massaging warmth and life into still sleeping bones. Consuming heat from the steaming drink, feeling it seep slowly through the numbness.

Then we begin to prepare, binding struggling stretched muscles, patching torn feet. Packing what was pulled in haste from bags and blankets as the darkness had rushed in. Loading and balancing, smoothing out folds and lumps that might become knives and rasps through the day.

This is the life on the traveller, the wanderer, the pilgrim. The morning becomes a ritual that floats on the strangest of seas. Each day the farewells feel more distant but the faces of family grow closer. The further we go, the more painful the parting. The closer we get to our ending the more the uncertainty wounds. Things that seemed lifetimes away now stabbing fear in each step and each stop.

Do they stand on the wall and watch? Do they even know we are coming? Will the gatekeepers be ready to welcome us in, will the peacemakers open their arms? Will the fire be stoked, will the kettle be on? Will there be food enough for all?

But those are questions ahead and right now it is time to walk. God of the road be before us, God of the stream be alongside, God of the sky light our path, God of the fields and the furrows nourish, God of the dawn light our way, God of the hearth bring companionship, God of the journey lead on.

Advent 12

There is rhythm in my travel, in the beating heart I hold,

I hear it in my breathing, in the stories I’ve been told.

It’s there in the air as the wind moves, it’s there in the chorus of life.

It forms tunes all around that I sing to, painting melody thick with a knife.

The songs ease the passage of distance, taking me places that I’ve never been.

I’m finding the truth in each step, and meaning in sights that I’ve seen.

I need to keep sure as we move, the direction we head still feels right.

The promise breaks brilliant ahead, behind nothing is left but the night.

This is the road of our Fathers, we have to return to their place.

But we know that we’re not moving backward, it’s an uncertain future we face.

The world had seemed scored to perfection, then the sweet voice spoke into the dark,

It started to play a new rhythm, dawn harmonies sung by the lark.

We sang legends and lyrics of promise, as we waited to hear what came next,

We sang songs that were bigger than all of us, of a world that is woven and flexed.

Of eras and ages before us, when the spirits danced over the seas,

When the ground that we walk on was forming, when they loved in the shade of the trees.

We sang of times before time was first counted, and wisdom held firm to each hand,

We wept when she told of its ending, as hate burned like fire through the land.

Now I hear something new in the distance, the rhythm becoming a beat,

It pounds in my heart and my soul, as we walk it is under my feet.

So this is the way of our journey, familiar yet totally new,

As we follow the songs of the future, and dance in the promise of you.