Advent Gifts Unwrapped – foreboding joy

Well, there they are – Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love!Perhaps the most challenging has been Joy, associated yesterday with the Gospel of Matthew’s focus on troubled Joseph’s angelic visitation commanding him to proceed with his betrothal to the strangely pregnant Mary. Thus the introduction of Brené Brown’s phrase “foreboding joy” – the sense that yes,Continue reading “Advent Gifts Unwrapped – foreboding joy”

Passing the Piece

The church service act of “passing the peace” had a different slant as we exchanged clay tokens resembling doves. These had been created by the family of those conducting the service. My “dove” was decidedly different – it looked like a hybrid of some kind of bird and my country’s unique monotreme – the platypus.Continue reading “Passing the Piece”

Strange Critters from the North

As if our strange great southern landWas scarce of critters that are in no way blandWith roos and echidnas and platypi galoreWallabies and quokkas sniffing at the door It seems that December is a time to importAdditional life forms of a festive sort. “Elf on a shelf” has been around for a whileGrowing in number,Continue reading “Strange Critters from the North”

Riding the RCL into Advent

Christmas lights are going up around the street, but it’s not Christmas yet. Our Christmas tree will go up on Christmas Eve and stay for the 12 days of the Nativity commemorations. Next Sunday readings begin the four week season of Advent that precedes Christmas. Like the season of Lent, it is a purple seasonContinue reading “Riding the RCL into Advent”

Advent Voices – Christmas Eve

Festivity and celebration occur for very good reasons. In our pampered state, it marks a break in routine, a legitimate season to hang loose and indulge the hedonistic sides of our nature. In our reflective state, we realise that a momentous event in the history of our world caused a seismic shift in our perceptionContinue reading “Advent Voices – Christmas Eve”

Advent Voices: Titus tantalises

Two days before Christmas, a minor voice from the New Testament speaks out. Squeezed obscurely between Timothy and Philemon, not large players themselves, Titus has a voice worth listening to: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation [health, integrity, wholeness] to all…  Two days out from Christmas, Titus reminds us that, ultimately, a giftContinue reading “Advent Voices: Titus tantalises”

Advent Voices: Expectant prophet

Incarnation looms near. An expectant mother is amongst others as they make their way along the crowded track to their ancestral town, by order of the census officials. The words of an old oracle from an expectant prophet ring in her ears as the throng plods its weary way. Expectant mother; expectant prophet – theirContinue reading “Advent Voices: Expectant prophet”

Fourth Sunday in Advent – Love

And so the set of four Advent candles have been lit. Candles of anticipation – hope, peace, joy and, finally, love. The Australian community has been galvanised in the aftermath of three unspeakable acts of violence – the Martin Place siege, the Peshawar school massacre, and a family tragedy in Cairns. Amidst crowd reactions ofContinue reading “Fourth Sunday in Advent – Love”