Monday, 22 December 2014

Advent 3 - slaughter of innocents

Having kept Herod in Christmas, I really want all this to go away.... it is too tragic and devastating for words ..... Having read about Herod and 'The Slaughter of the Innocents' Matt. 2:17-18: That same cry in now heard in Peshawar “A voice was heard in Peshawar, weeping and loud lamentation, weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
It was a massacre of the innocents. Every report must admit this – because it’s true. But it is not the whole truth.
I'm still in the darkness of the 'slaughter of the innocents' ... trying to move on. The International Carol Service was a glimmer of hope for me, esp with Padre Rana sharing from a Pakistani perspective about Mary's humility and wisdom that led to life and the wise men's folly that led to death (through involving Herod in the story) . Today we had a prayer vigil with the Pakistani community in Jubilee square and I shared a little of standing together against violence and how this can only be done one person at a time, heart to heart - diye se diya jelao - One light lights another. In the meantime a page from my journal.....

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Advent 3 Keep Herod in Chirstmas

Week 3 Keep Herod in Christmas ....

We do not live in an ideal world. To be alive in the adventure of Jesus is to face at every turn the destructive reality of violence. To be alive in the adventure of Jesus is to side with vulnerable children in defiance of the adults who see them as expendable. To walk the road with Jesus is to withhold consent & cooperation from the powerful and to invest it instead with the vulnerable. It is to refuse to bow to all the Herods and all their ruthless regimes - and to reserve our loyalty for a better King and a better Kingdom Brian McLaren p90

I found this detail from a Giovanni Painting of the slighter of the innocents on a blog 'Why Red is the Christmas colour'

Another picture was posted on another group I am part of .... It seemed relevant to our retreat, The picture is by Daniel Bonnel ... 

Mary answered the angel, 
"Behold, I am the maidservant of the Lord. 
Let it happen to me according to your word." 
And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

"Thank you for the faith of a maiden, 
in whose obedience your plan 
for the reconciliation of the whole world was begun.
I beg you, too, that you might empower me in pure simplicity. 
Teach my mouth and all my parts 
to make this simple response 
to whatever task you set before me
- this:
Let it be to me according to your word.

Walter Wangerin in Preparing for Jesus  

I was inspired by Daniel Bonnel's painting and had a go at doing one at our holy::ground meeting - 'falling into Christmas'. (without any visual clue - no wifi!) And if you remember the angel I drew became unintentionally ominous ! More of a fallen angel .... I called the picture 'Whatever!' (thinking whatever anything, something that big and frightening says, will have to be obeyed) So I reworked the one I had originally started on, in a slightly more abstract style.... I still find those words ringing in my ears 'be it unto me according to your word' I find Mary's act of submission totally insprirational .... and so now maybe I'll face the other ' dark angel' and think about evil and keeping Herod in Christmas .... after all RED is a Christmas colour .....

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

we make the road by walking ......Advent 2 Magnificent Magnificat


encountering an angel, Zachariah is struck dumb, as Elizabeth bears within he a new prophetic voice - John the Baptist - after centuries of silence 'a voice crying in the wilderness 'prepare the way of the Lord' Mary too encounters the angel and realising the impossible can happen, responds" 'be it to me according to your word' - impossible possibilities: possible impossibilities' Everything is turned on its head.. in the upside down kingdom... the weaker feminine takes the lead, the proud are silenced and the exalted are humbled and the humble are exulted. Hungry are filled with good things and the rich are sent away empty.....

my favourite quote this week (p85/86) :
That's what it means to be alive in the adventure of Jesus
We present ourselves
our bodies
our stories
our futures
our possibilities
even our limitations
'Here I am' we say with Mary
'Let it be with me according to your will'

Monday, 8 December 2014

We make the road by walking Advent 1 Prophesy

a fabulous 'prophetic' song by Sinead O'Connor (She looks great in a dog collar)

What are your 8 good reasons to stick around? I found myself thinking of this in terms of Brian McLaren's question about prophetic hope in our everyday contemporary context and thinking about what I actually do ......... 
 My 8 good reasons include 
  • FAMILY (R T J A J), 
  • faith, 
  • health, 
  • work/ministry, 
  • network of friends/contacts; 
  •  home/house, 
  • Pounstina, 
  • Ceili&Walks... 
  • and an open fire...

and my favourite quote so far from the book....... 
'to be alive in the adventure of Jesus is to have a desire, a dream, a hope for the future. It is to translate that hope for the future into action.... in the present and to keep acting in the light of it, no matter the disappointments, no matter the setbacks and delays. (p80)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

we make the road by walking.... Advent 1

in holy::ground we are using Brian McLaren's Book as the source of our reflections during ADVENT from 30/Nov to 24/Dec.  using various resources from Brian McLaren's book 'We make the road by walking ...... You can join us in two main ways ONLINE and SUPPER conversations every Monday in Advent Details on holy::ground facebook group. You can also continue with Creative Art Journaling

Brian McLaren introduces his book here  - life is a journey and faith is an adventure and we make the road by walking....  

Brian McLaren singing his song 'we make the road by walking' 

the kindle edition of the Retreat book is available for £4.68

I tried a little creative journaling:  

After killing the white on the page with a paint wash I looked to see what I could see on the pages: 'As I looked the ancient of days took his seat. his clothing was white as snow & the hair of his head like pure wool & streams of fire came from him. the court sat .... and books were opened' (from Daniel) My ancient of days looks ever so slightly bored....

Thursday, 4 December 2014

My Travel Map

This map of places I've travelled to you is brought to you care of MatadorNetwork

Phil Simpson’s Travel Map
Phil Simpson has been to: Afghanistan, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vatican. Get your own travel map from Matador Network.

I think I need to concentrate more on Africa South America and Oceania. Anyone need a consultant in any of these places... 
At least I've traveled to more places than my age ...... need to keep on moving on ....

Actually Ive just noticed I've missed off Tunisia, Kenya and Ethiopia...