Our Daily Advent

Imagine a theatre, an Elizabethan theatre perhaps, the ones with a stage surrounded by seating and an arena for standing viewers.

It’s packed, there is a new play, the program has the title
The Beginning of the Gospel about Jesus Christ, the son of God.’
The crowd are in hushed anticipation, not sure of what to expect, jostling one another for position to be the first to see who comes out onto the stage, to find out about the new story, the new play.

SUDDENLY a curtain above the stage flies open and a trio of trumpeters step out and play a glorious fanfare. From off stage a voice sings out:
‘Prepare ye the way of the lord’
The crowd look from one to another in disbelief, is this what they have been waiting for?

A lone thespian steps from behind a curtain and delivers a speach about a guy called John and something to do with sandals and thongs

It is all a bit much, the audience have heard it all before, it’s the same story in a new box, nothing different from last time.

They were all expectant, but missed the point

Wanted to hear the news, but missed it in the new presentaion

Almost unnoticed, and with devestating humility, in the guise of many who are poor and in need, Christ Comes into each heart open to receive him.

Not just for Christmas, not just this Advent, but each and every day

Is it just me or…

In church, at intercessions.

Let us pray etc…

We pray for our church (followed by a list of events going on that week)

after each event, (from one or two in the congregation): Yes Lord, oh yes Jesus.

Specific prayers for the alpha course and the topic coming up
response: Yes Lord, oh yes Jesus. or similar

Prayers for the bishop, the Anglican cycle prayers for other countries etc

Silence

prayers for peace workers or some other group, I forget now

Silence

Prayers for the community and people in the area

Silence

Prayers for the event at CIA followed by something about touching peoples hearts with the holy spirit

Yes Lord, oh yes Jesus. Thank you Lord etc

Prayers for the sick etc

Silence.

Is it just me or is there a pattern here?

This was only one or perhaps two individuals, but it was clear where they were coming from.
The ecstatic charismatic orgasmic style of prayer response has no place for me in worship, but that I could put up with had it not been for the complete absence of relation to the world outside the church and the Christian community. All too often it seems that it comes down to a choice between lively charismatic worship, self-centred and introverted worrying about the soul of those in the church and the lack of morality without or boring ‘catholic’ worship, but with a church involved in the community and building the kingdom of God on earth.

The spirituality of smoking

Odd topic?

Well, not really, it’s just a thought about what you do when smoking and how it relates to the rest of life

Now some people might consider smoking to be a waste of time money and a danger to health, well I can certainly say that I do feel healthier after quitting, BUT, have i lost more than I gained?

This isn’t about smoking those long white things that come in 10’s or 20’s, (or 16’s if you’re drunk and can’t be bothered to walk from the pub to the shop!)

I’m talking about the art of rolling and smoking tobacco in it’s finer form. Baccy, weed, rollies etc.

It’s about time, effort achievement but most of all it’s about spending 5 minutes doing nothing better than twiddling a piece of paper round dried leaves and if you were like me inserting what looked like a mouse tampon in the end. After this you can smoke it happily in the understanding that you made it. (or if you are new to rolling, wondering where you went wrong and why it won’t work!!!)

OK a tenuous point, not really spirituality of smoking is it?. Well there is a bit more…

I have noticed a few things, baccy smokers are (contrary to popular opinion) social people.

They are also not in a hurry to get anywhere. Each movement is a carefully considered action with the consideration of a smoking break built in

There is time for reflection, cogitation and determination of the next move

It might just be that baccy smokers are the next philosophers, having and taking the time to sit / stand and mull.

But of course, they will die early so, as all great thinkers only be really appreciated when they are pushing up the daisies!!