Friday, 21 December 2012

Pics n vids

Just flicking through Facebook and had a laugh at this.
Looked further and I found 2 Youtubes of our 3 Churches Carol Service on Wednesday. Done on a phone or camera, the quality is as expected, but I hope you can get a sense of the evening at St Paul's regarding the involvement of young people. This is one of our pastoral priorities at the moment, and more about it later. I will also post the meditation I wrote for the Service.
With thanks to Sara and Bernardine

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Little scenes

I popped in town this morning to do my (minimal) Christmas shopping. My brother and sister's Christmas just would not be the same without their Thorntons box. Well, so they tell me! Did a few other bits n pieces, including the CTS next to our Cathedral.Coffee time, and Debenhams seemed the closest, so I ascended to the 2nd floor. Cafe had had a facelift, and I joined the queue of busy busy shoppers. I was very very impressed by the lady who was doing the lattes, capuccinos etc etc at superfast speed and with consummate efficiency, taking the next order as she was completing the previous one. So when she handed me my mug I said "Thank you - you're doing very well!" Her face lit up as she broke into a lovely smile at an unexpected little compliment. It made my day, and maybe hers too! 
When I sat down, i was joined at the next table by a young mum, and her little boy in a buggy. Te little lad semed anxious to have a nap, but mum's schedule said it was tiem to feed him. So each time his little eyes drooped, he sensed a spoon at his lips and his mouth automatically opened. Eventually he lapsed into a blissful doze, mum finished her coffee and off they went, both contented.
Just a couple of human moments from the cafe at Debenhams - and reminders that Christmas is about God joining us, not just in our big dramas, but also in our little scenes too. How many lives did he light up with a smile or a word? And what an amazing thought that people must have watched another baby being fed by his mother - little realising that here was God being nourished by his own creation.
Many thanks to Marie for sending me this link to a brilliant adaptation of Queen's famous song :"Bethlehemian Rhapsody"   Fr M fully approves. (pics are from the video)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Advent in 2 minutes

Last year folks seemed to like the very good little video "Advent in 2 Minutes", so to see it click here.

Sunday, 9 December 2012


I've been taking a bit of a break from the old blog. Lot of work on at the moment, run-up to Christmas etc. Anyway a few folks said nice things about my homilies these 2 Sundays of Advent, so I thought I'd try to put something about them on here.
Advent is a particularly Christian concept - the God-who-comes. At Christmas we are celebrating, looking back to the First Coming of Jesus, his first Advent. But the liturgy of the First Sunday of Advent also points us to His second coming - at the end of time, that mysterious point to which we are all headed. So we are caught between the "already" and the "not yet", suspended as it were on the tightrope of the present.
As we journey from the one to the other, God's graciousness enables us to experience many "mini-Advents" - to keep us going, as it were.  When the Word of God takes flesh in our hearts and lives - that is Advent. When we commune with the Lord in our quiet moments - if we can find them in this busy season - his coming to us is a mini-Advent. Of course, in the Eucharist we are particularly close to the One-who-comes. At the altar steps we reach out for the one Jesus, our Holy Communion is a sublime personal Adventing of the Lord to us.
But we can also experience Jesus coming to us through other people. That unexpected smile or good deed, that unsolicited phone call from a friend or love done. That apparently random caring gesture from a  complete stranger - these are surely often telling us of the presence of Jesus in and through other people.
This brings us to a question, or maybe a challenge for Advent. If others can bring Advent to me... to whom can I bring Advent this year? Advent, like Christmas, is really about giving as well as receiving. So, into whose life do I have the possibility of bringing the presence of Jesus? For whom can I be Advent?