Monday, November 29, 2021

Advent 2021 / 1

 28th  Nov 2021.

What will we be able to do for Christmas this year, given the new Omicron variant is with us. 

It seemed we had moved on somewhat from where we were at this time last year.

Do you remember? There was lots of talk of Christmas and how we were going to be able to celebrate with our families and friends under the strict restrictions. 

We were encouraged ( some would say, forced) to choose a "bubble" of 2 other households to be with over the 5 day holiday. 

How were we to do that? Just with my own children, there's 8 households. Logistically, for us, it was difficult. 

I mean, ALL the children and ALL the grandchildren want to see us at some time during the Christmas season.  

Fortunately for us, we keep the 12 days of Christmas, so we thought we'd manage ok. 

But then, it was all taken away from us and being in tier four we could only celebrate with those in our own  household. What a trying time it was.  Maybe you've got a story to tell from last year? I'd love to hear it.

Here's a few words I wrote exactly a year ago today:

The Parachute 

My life is in freefall, heading for a crash,

so many concerns eating me up.

I'm going so fast,

the grounds coming towards me,

no time to think...

But then,

I reach out to you, 

throw my burdens on you.

You, in your tenderness and kind compassion,

offer me a parachute.


everything slows, 

the wind no longer distorts my face


the warm breeze blows soft against my cheeks,

clouds, fields, trees,

no longer race by sore eyes - unrecognisable.

Instead,  form,  beauty, colour ,

the rising, the  falling of the landscape,

are captured,

each one a place to dwell,

a place to be refreshed.

Gently, slowly, I descend,

land lightly on grass that kisses my feet,

land beside a river, where the rippling

water is healing.

Here, I'll rest,

for now. 

This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent.

Here is our Advent wreath for this year:

Tonight we shall light the first candle, as we will every night this week. Next Sunday we'll light a second. 


Luke 21:25-28,34-36

That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.

‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

My comment:

"...stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand."

Liberation from what, I wondered. St Augustine says something about the truly rich man being the one who has no needs. Our needs, or what we think we need, ties us down, chains us up, keeps us bound. We all need liberation. Practicing detachment then is a spiritual task a task if carried out prayerfully and not just to live a minimalist life, will bring us closer to God.  

Advent is a good time to take stock, to see where my heart is, to clear the way a little bit so that I'm more free. How many of my needs are, in reality only wants. 

Could I live this Advent with a more generous spirit. 

And thereby be more read to meet Jesus when He comes at Christmas.