Wednesday 15 December 2010

Lifted On The Wings of Angels

We who have been brought up and educated in a culture so heavily influenced by Christianity know that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the arrival of the Christ child into the world. For many of us in childhood, if this event wasn’t a reality, it was almost a reality. And even now if we let go a little and let our imaginations leap into one cold dark starlit night in December, can we not believe just for a moment, that not too far away, this special child, this wonderful gift from God lies cradled in her mother’s arms? Is this not a scene of such joy and tranquility? As we gaze upon mother and child enveloped in that radiant light of pure love. A light that illuminates the whole scene as the rich and powerful, the poor and mean kneel together and worship in such humility.

The Christ child is born as she is born in our hearts, the hope of the world, the light of our lives. We ourselves come face to face with him as we approach him, coming in from the darkness, into the light of his presence where all our strivings, our greed and anger our hatreds, our small mindedness, prejudice, jealousies and fears have been supplanted by an apparition of such purity that our very hearts are smitten as we resonate with a divine love with the wonder and beauty of it all. In this moment we know who we really are and we know that this child is every child the universal child, the child in every person we meet. As we meet his gaze through the radiance of his presence, we feel his vulnerability and a powerful sense of his trusting innocent love and we are deeply touched. We are deeply touched because we are not observers, in fact we have become at one with him, we are lifted on the wings of angels and know ourselves to be the children of God as we merge with the power of the eternal, the divine love that permeates the universe the essence that is at the very core of our beings.

This transcendent reality, the Christmas message is the one reality for now and forever, so that in the bleak episodes of our lives when we are far away from home in the cold solitude of despair of pain and self-pity we have only to remember the light that shines in the darkness a light transcendent and immanent, a light deep within ourselves the power of love to transform ourselves and the world.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Advent Prayer by Bob Pounder

Advent Prayer

O God we give thanks for the richness of life
A tapestry of constant change that drifts through the seasons of our lives
Milestones of our earthly existence
Already Autumn’s gold has given way to winter’s frost, snow and ice
Short days and long nights where the joy of spring and the rich fullness of summer seem almost a distant memory

But here in our special hour of gathering together, in worship we reach out to the eternal, that inner light that shines through the darkness of winter
A light that shine through the very depths our soul reminding us of our unity with God and of the Christ Child who is constantly amongst us waiting to be recognised and to be born.

And as we recall the beautiful mystery of countless nativity scenes, real and symbolic, let us reclaim the innocence of the child through the joy and wonder of Advent and the anticipation of Christmas in this special time of preparation and giving
So that love and compassion may be made manifest in a world of human injustice and want.

Lord, we give thanks for all you have bestowed upon us, forgive us if we fail in our gratitude or forget that your loving presence is always with us.

In the darkest of these winter months let us anticipate the midnight hour filled with light and love and life, the birth of a child, let us carry this joy within our hearts; now and forever more. Amen