Sunday, December 13, 2015

#AdventWord 15 : Wonder

Tonight at "Breathing Space" we journeyed round a series of stations based on the great O antiphons...I had feared that nobody would come, as several regulars were away - but the group who gathered was the perfect size to allow intimacy and reflection without self-consciousness. Against all my least hopeful expectations, we found ourselves well and truly on holy ground. 

At the sculpture "The plumbline and the city" we considered O Sapientia, "sweetly ordering all things", we reflected on what was really at the centre of our lives, plotted our priorities on concentric circles, target- style, and asked God to help us re-order our lives where necessary. 

In the holy ground of the Chapel of Christ in Gethsemane, we reflected on O Adonai - and on Moses turning aside to view the burning bush. We wondered how often we fail to notice God in our world, and how often our own pressing agendas inhibit us from changing direction to meet with him.
The charred cross, made from the roof timbers of the bombed Cathedral, reminded us of the shoot of hope that grew from the apparently dead
"Radix Jesse"...just as the Coventry ministry of Reconciliation grew from the death and destruction of that November night 75 years ago.

The gates to the Lady Chapel were firmly shut as we engaged with the 
Clavis David who " opens and no one can shut -You shut, and no one can open."
We each took some keys from a basket and pondered those things from which we need liberation...There weren't quite enough keys, so some people used those they already had in their pockets...Sometimes we DO have all that we need in order to be free...Sometimes keys, and locks, are very small - but once they are unfastened, then we can move on to be the people God calls us to be.

O Oriens - bright and morning star, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness: Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.
Pausing by the Christmas trees, whose lights are reflected in the West Screens so we seem to have two extra trees outside, we recognised that Christmas hope can be hard to find if you are dealing with the dark things of life...Loneliness, bereavement, illness, anxiety all seem even harder to bear when the rest of the world is having a giant party.
But the whole POINT of Christmas is that God's light comes into our world, so that everything looks different. The hard things don't disappear. Sad things remain sad...but we know that light is always stronger than darkness...that all the darkness in the world cannot put out the light of even the smallest candle. So here we took a few moments thinking of people and situations needing God's light and left candles burning...There is one still lit or a dear friend, E, a dear friend who is going home too soon.

O Rex Gentium - the king is crowned with thorns, the sculpture made from the metal of a crashed car...In defeat and destruction, He reigns
O King of the nations and their desire
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
That you fashioned from clay.
Together we built a tower of jenga bricks, and asked God to help us to build our lives on the corner stone that is Christ, and his way of Love.

Finally we came to the altar and the crib - to Bethlehem, the House of Bread, where we were invited to participate in the wonderful exchange that the incarnation made possible. We brought, as we always do , the mess and muddle, failure and brokenness of our lives - and received in exchange Emmanuel - God with us...

And that is the wonder of it all
That God was man in Palestine, and lives today in bread and wine.


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