The Annunciation Trust

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Advent Thoughts

Recent events have left me feeling helpless and in a dark place.  Our decision, based mainly on lies, to leave the EU, leaves me with a sense of shame at being English. We are letting both ourselves and our European friends down badly.

We have a government which is already underfunding the NHS, our schools, and the social care provision for the poor and needy, as well as undermining the judiciary and making strangers feel unwelcome, while the wealthy prosper. I expect it to get worse.

We have a PM who lies, runs from difficulties and scrutiny, and lacks empathy & compassion. I wouldn’t trust him with sixpence. 

Meanwhile, the Church of England, in a state of decline, is facing the wrong way and asking the wrong questions, at a national and at a Diocesan level. 

Where is God in all this I ask myself?

So I thank God for Advent. Its proving to be a rich and challenging time, as, in T S ELiot’s words:

“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope 

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; 

Wait without love 

For love would be love of the wrong thing; 

There is yet faith 

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. 

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: 

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

So I wait, and I await the Coming of Christ at Christmas. Or more accurately, I wait, daring that I may be brave enough to open myself to receive Him, find room for Him, nourish Him within me, so that my soul may become His dwelling place.  My task then will be to hear His Call, and heed it.  I know that I won’t do that very well. But this Loving God accepts my best endeavours and has other agents in the field, of all faiths and none, so I know that I’m not alone but in good company.  I pray that The Cosmic Christ will be able, through His People who are ready to receive Him, to bring some much needed Love and Light into the current darkness of our world.  Light and Love that also remind us there is a bigger picture than what we see here now.

3 Comments

  1. Sad… I often ask myself (as per your oft mentioned advice Henry) ‘where is God in all this?’ I know she is there somewhere but I cannot find her. These last few weeks and months and even years has been a time when the UK, and many other parts of the world, have seen a rise in leaders peddling their own Agendas for the benefit of the minority who think like them, act like them and live like them. I despair and worry about the future and what little we are able to do. Then, I am reminded of an ex Parishioner who had little in life except a warm heart and a big smile. One afternoon when I was with her she said some words that have echoed down the years. She said, ‘Sue, I don’t have much money, I left school at 14 with no qualifications, I have never had anything more than a run of the mill job. I don’t have power to influence anybody and my life seems to be worth little. But the one thing I can do is make my tiny bit of the world as beautiful as possible’.
    Whenever things look bleak, whenever I feel there is nothing I can do to change things, I remind myself of her words and try to make my little bit of the world as beautiful as I can. Maybe, for the moment, that’s all most of us can do.

  2. Henry, you have captured the feelings of many of us!! There is little any of us can do, alone. But each one of us can try to beautify/ heal our hurting world…bit by bit. Thereby nurturing the Christ within us and sharing his work in healing this world, by whatever means we are called.
    As someone once said..”it is better to light a candle, than curse the darkness”. We are called to do this in our places.

  3. A salutary Christmas sharing Henry and with which many will agree in one way or the other. Someone said ‘the light shines INSIDE the darkness’ and that is the hope I cling to. There is a sense of a ‘dark night of the soul’ across large areas of our nation, which will not be easily dispelled. In one of his later poems RS Thomas writes, ‘And his [Christ’s] coming testified / to not by one star / arrested temporarily / over a Judaic manger, / but by constellations innumerable / as dew upon surfaces / he has passed over time / and again, taking to himself / the first-born of the imagination / but without the age-old requirement of blood.’

    If imagination is a gift of the Godself then we must creatively nurture it in each other, otherwise we end up in a ‘dark room without a window or door.’ None of this, of course, is easy, but maybe a darkness shared is a darkness halved?

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