Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

I wrote this poem last year in the pre-Christmas rush:

Christmas turns up about now
Screams to a halt - tyre rubber in the road
Look at me

Advent walked here, carefully holding a candle

Christmas bares its soul about now
Make me happy with food, fragrance and fashion
Buy me

Advent cradles its light from the breeze

Christmas accessorises everything about now
You need two of those, extra glitter and ribbons
Box me

Advent speaks of a truth beyond packaging

Operating with a sense of other-worldliness can be hard. Monday and Tuesday's Thought for the Day contributors spoke of Advent as a period of reflection, waiting, hoping. Advent asks us to wait gently while the world sits outside in its car, beeping its horn. Come on.

Does a carnival anticipate a heavenly party? Do Christmas lights speak of the one who is the light of the world? Do ambulances remind us of our humanity but that one day every tear will be wiped from our eye? Do medals for bravery emphasise the otherness of this world where there is evil but goodness can, and will, overcome it? Well, (beat) they might.

St Paul spoke of this world as seeing through a glass darkly - looking forward to seeing face to face.

The great seers and sages of the Christian past described special sites in our world as 'thin places' where God can be glimpsed more easily.

In one of his novels Philip Pullman spoke of the spirit world being accessed by a subtle knife - if you could find the right place you could cut your way though.

I hope you see God through the gaps in the rush and find yourselves in some thin places today. Peace.

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