It’s nearly Christmas. The snow has fallen and we are in a quaint little street in the centre of 18th century Gloucester. A lone figure leaves his shop and walks home through the snow. There are all the elements for a story here!Continue reading “The Tailor of Gloucester”
Christmas reminds us of the tragedy of being homeless, a refugee, one of the ‘left outside people’ and the ‘unloved’. We all need ‘home’ where we can be loved. It’s lonely and cold outside.Continue reading “Pursued by Love”
Immensity cloistered in thy dear wombe,
Now leaves his welbelov’d imprisonment,
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th’Inne no roome?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars, and wisemen will travel to prevent
Th’effect of Herod’s jealous general doom;
Seest thou, my Soul, with thy faith’s eyes, how he
Which fills all place, yet none holds him, doth lie?
Was not his pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss him, and with him into Egypt goe,
With his kind mother, who partakes thy woe.
This old verse is part of the poet John Donne’s 7 verse poem ‘La Corona’ (The Crown) about the life of Christ from the Annunciation to the Ascension.
What Glorious ‘Impossibilities’!
The Maker is made , the One who is everywhere is ‘cloistered’ in a womb, the All powerful Creator comes in the weakness and vulnerability of a babe, the God of love, becomes an infant needing a mother’s loving care. We walk on holy ground here!
The line that has been ringing in my ears since hearing this poem read out aloud (as all poetry should be) is ‘Immensity cloistered in thy dear wombe’.
How wonderful that though there was ‘no room in the inn’, there was room in Mary’s womb—a place where Immensity could be ‘cloistered’ – staggering thought. We can all identify with this, since we have all come from a mother’s ‘womb’ – a place of security and warmth were life can begin. We can identify with Jesus as he identifies with us, not just from ‘the cradle to the grave’, as we sometimes say, but from the womb to the Resurrection – the whole of life.
Have a heart felt and Christ filled Christmas this year.
A ferry boat full of excited visitors is making the short journey across the water to a small rugged island off Mull in Western Highlands of Scotland. With some relief after a long journey, by land and sea, the visitors step ashore on this tiny, but very special place, conscious that they are stepping back in time as thousands of visitors and pilgrims have done before them. This is a ‘thin place’ – where heaven and earth seem to meet. It has been a place dear to many Christians—we feel a sense of connection with our early Christian forefathers here. Continue reading “The Wonder and the Mystery”