Late Advent…

I am told that just before dawn,
there is a moment
when it is neither dawn nor night.
It is a blink after the dark
and a flash before the light.

It is promise of life held in an instant;
moving but not yet ours to see;
suspended between what was,
and what is yet to be.

We exist in this holy interregnum,
for the old is past, and behold a new day,
but not yet. Not yet.
In this moment between movements,
we strain and ache for the promised
joy that comes with the morning.

This is time between time,
a breath between days;
the rupture of epochs:
marking a border between the inauguration
and the consummation of all things.

Here, the Word whispers softly,
disturbing our sleep,
so that we might awaken
in the embrace of the son,
whose life is the light
that illuminates the world.

This is the moment when all is quiet
before creations sings.
A stillness heard so deeply
it is barely heard at all.

It is advent,
the silence
between notes.

Behold!

( Trygve David Johnson ‘Advent’ – found here)

I know it is a little late for posting Advent poems, but I just came across this one which I would have posted if I had found it earlier!

Pictures are from Jonny Baker on Flickr – here and here

A Moment Known Only to God?

Well… December has passed in a blur of activity… snow showers and freezing conditions. And I have been rather devoid of inspiration for the blog. Usually during Advent I find lots of stuff which inspires me to post… but this year not so much. Maybe just a reflection of how I have been feeling of late? I am aware of losing focus (for a number of reasons) and letting myself drift. I have some hard decisions … and some resolutions to think through for 2011.

In the meantime… I thought I would post this from Madeleine L’Engle:

“Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl, and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy? Jesus was the firstborn of many brethren. I stand … looking at the sky full of God’s children, and know that I am one of them.”

(Picture is ‘the beginning’ by Mike Lockie on Flickr)

Quiet Advent

It is a time of whispers
of rumours and echoes
angels are unfurling their wings
stars are dancing new steps
and the universe is drawing breath
for now we live in the waiting time
Let the darkness gather
let the seasons change
let the nights draw in
to their darkest moment
the light is on it’s way
so come now
be a blessing to the frantic and worried world
come now
and find space
silence
stillness
for God is slipping into skin
and restless in the womb
It is advent …

A wonderful Advent liturgy from Mucky Paws which I first posted back in 2008. I used it this morning at the end of the service.

I love the imagery – rumours of angels and stars… God slipping into skin… coming again to a frantic and worried world.

The title (Quiet Advent) is a little ironic for me as my voice is vanishing fast – not good in a week with a wedding (tomorrow) and recording my radio slots (Tuesday)… hey ho!

I slipped a copy of this liturgy into the back of my folder for the service in the hope that I would have enough voice left to read it before the benediction! (I did – just).

I am now tucked up at home trying not to talk too much – the radio recordings can be postponed… the wedding – well not really!! I am coming to the conclusion that (at this time of year particularly) every minister needs an understudy!!

Advent… he will come!

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.

(Rowan Williams)

Found here on Cruciality

Picture is ‘Gunnersbury Frost’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

Advent begins…

Breathe out empty yourself: of hate, of fear, of anxiety
Breathe in fill yourself with love, with life, with mercy
Breathe out empty yourself of busyness, of selfishness of greed
Breathe in fill yourself with peace, with joy, with hope
Breathe out empty yourself of idolatry, of self worship, of false gods
Breathe in fill yourself with God, with Christ, with the Holy Spirit

Christine Sine

Thought this was a great prayer as Advent gets under way. Its a reminder to take time for God and not to get overwhelmed by the busyness of the season.

Breathing out and breathing in… simples… and as Christine points out… so very scriptural:

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person”. (Genesis 2:7 NLT)

“Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20: 21 – 22 NLT).

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”, (2 Tim 3:16 NIV).

(And yes snow is still falling… snow on snow…)

Still experimenting!!

I don’t know where the time has gone since August… the months seem to have flashed past in a blur of activity and now it is nearly December!! I am hoping to get the new blog off the ground over the next few weeks and I have been saving up stuff to post!

I am not good at technical change – getting used to wordpress after blogger is taking a while – but everyone tells me it is better so I am sticking with it. I’m sure it will be fine once I get going!!

At the moment I am planning my Advent services… trying to get them all sketched out… and even hymns chosen… before the end of the day. It is now 1440 and I have 2 in the bag so far. Taking a wee break to let the old brain cells regenerate… pick the weans up from school… back at my desk by 1600 with more coffee (naturally).