Today, advent begins.
It is a season often out-clamoured by the churn and burn of preparation, in which we have no time for waiting. There is no time for quiet reflection when there are all those presents to buy.
It is an easy criticism because advertisements give us all the cultural indicators that we could ever want. It is they who define the season of advent after all. It seems that we need to order a new sofa and a new carpet for Christmas, and that Christmas is about… football.
But I would like to give you this seasonal invitation;
Take time. Peel back the surface of the season, just a little. Look a little more deeply when you can. Breathe deeply and remember that there is more. It may be wrapped up in mystery, but there is better- there is love. When you look for it, it is everywhere.
And what better to assist us on this gentle quest, than poetry?
So, as the advent season unfolds, I am going to offer you a poem each day- ones taken from this book; We who still wait. (If you should order a copy, you will get to immerse yourself in Ian’s meditations and Steve’s photographs also…)
So, on this first Sunday of Advent, we begin our season of waiting…
Here we are again.
Starting a new journey towards hope.
Setting out in uncertain times
towards a rumour glimpsed only in the shape of the stars
and the smell of something strange
in the changing of the weather.
Have I journey left in these brittle bones
what did it ever mean before?
How many false donkeys and tin foil angels can one man take?
We know that this Messiah fell from heaven not
on feathers, but to the stab and scratch of straw.
I get the humility, but when will things be different?
When will Kalashnikovs be melted into spades?
When will missiles be just fireworks in the shining sky?
When will Lions chose to nurture Lambs?
But here I am again
Starting a new journey towards hope