mylodon: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] nodbear and I will be posting throughout Advent again this year. Because we're starting later than normal (Advent Sunday having been last weekend) we're doing a sort of Advent calendar theme, with a surprise person or picture behind each door. Starts here tomorrow.

Advent 26

Dec. 24th, 2015 11:30 am
mylodon: (whaletail)
One night to Christmas! 2000 odd years ago, this was the night after which nothing would ever be the same.

The Reverend Ann Easter got it right this morning when she spoke about motherhood, how when you go into labour you've begun an irreversible process that has to be got through, after which your life - whatever the outcome and please God it ends up being a good one - is changed irrevocably. Every baby is special, because of their uniqueness, although every mother believes her children are extra special, extra beautiful. You look at that newborn, contemplate its perfection and see the world in its infant smile. Mary and Joseph would have felt these things, and connecting with those emotions can take us back to that stable.

Wishing you and yours the most truly blessed Christmas.

Advent 24

Dec. 22nd, 2015 12:35 pm
mylodon: (whaletail)
A lovely e-mail dropped into my inbox this morning - it was a mop-up/thank you for the Christmas toy project all the family mylodon help with. Nearly 2000 children and young people received parcels this year and what really touched me was this bit:

we have already heard that one mum sat on the floor and cried as she opened the box containing gifts for her two young children. She had set her heart on buying a particular item for her 3 year old boy, but knew that she could just not afford it. She was so amazed and grateful when that toy was part of what we had delivered.

We may not be able to help everyone in need in the world but we can make a huge difference to just a few people.

Advent 22

Dec. 20th, 2015 12:23 pm
mylodon: (whaletail)
Tonight we shall be wending our way to Romsey Abbey for the traditional 9 Lessons and Carols service, another step in our family Advent journey, which will culminate in (if we can all stay awake) midnight service on the 24th. Funny how our traditions mix the sacred and secular - the Christmas run up always includes the family film (this year we're going to see Star Wars), and Sports Personality of the Year, alongside any opportunity we can take to sing carols.

For some members of the family, the Romsey service and similar events are the only time they go to a church service all year, yet they sing the hymns with gusto, as fervently as if they believed, as do many people at the events that make up Advent. Some would sneer at this, saying that such participation 'doesn't count' unless backed up with belief, but I wonder if the Almighty would be more lenient, recognising the positive point of connection with the numinous.

I've always suspected the Almighty is more forgiving than us, anyway...

Advent 20

Dec. 18th, 2015 10:59 am
mylodon: (whaletail)
[livejournal.com profile] nodbear sent me a book of Advent reflections by Dietrich Bonhoffer, which I've been working through this Advent. They're great - very simple, very thought provoking. The one I read yesterday made me smile, because it's about the real meaning of Christmas and how its being forgotten and should be at the forefront again. Sounds a modern complaint, but this was written in 1933.

I honestly believe that very little changes, fundamentally, including what people complain about. People have always looked back and said the past was a better time, that young people 'nowadays' (whenever that is) aren't like they were when young. Even the Anglo Saxon chronicle moans that taxes are too high and it rains all summer.

Let's be positive this Advent!

Advent 18

Dec. 16th, 2015 02:34 pm
mylodon: (whaletail)
We were at the Albert Hall last night, at a Christmas Celebration. Such wonderful singing/playing/readings, over a wide range of styles but never forgetting the true meaning of this time of year.

The choir sang two of my all time favourite seasonal pieces, Shepherd's Pipe Carol and the haunting The Lamb.

Nothing can do justice to the spine tingling effect these carols produced when heard live. A touch of the mystery of Advent?

Advent 16

Dec. 14th, 2015 12:13 pm
mylodon: (whaletail)
I'm, once again, changing my intended post at the last moment because of a prick of conscience (see my comment to [livejournal.com profile] nodbear's last post for an explanation).

In the spirit of celebrating that young soldier last week who was full of positive thoughts, I have an equal admiration for Shaker Aamer, who demonstrates a remarkable amount of forgiveness and common sense.

How many of us could be so mature?

Advent 14

Dec. 12th, 2015 01:10 pm
mylodon: (whaletail)
I had one of my "Oh why can't people just be nice to each other?" moments today. Can't remember what prompted it, but I've had a few recently.

Why do people feel the need to go on social media/ring into radio shows/appear on the telly and spout their opinions without listening to what anybody else's viewpoint might be? Especially when they do it from a position of astounding ignorance.

I guess it's easier to repeat a convenient lie without checking it, should it suit your viewpoint, rather than have to deal with an inconvenient truth.
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