Tag Archives: Hope

So. How was your Christmas?

Mine was pretty much like the rest of this year – an absolute whirlwind of the loosely planned being usurped by the surprising. Though I learned the hard way that if you spend half the day holding small children and hefting a turkey in and out of the oven your arms will ache for atleast a week. Even brushing my hair is a challenge - sorry to anyone who has to be seen with me in public right now.

Christmas Joy: Getting to meet my 6-day old new favourite
Christmas JOY: Surprise visit from my 6-day old new favourite

I must confess, I was not ready for Christmas this year. I don't understand how its come and gone already, I'm still waiting for summer. I was the most Grinch of all the Grinchs and so reflecting on the reason for the season was not forefront of my mind. But what I did realise is that Christmas is all about abiding - Jesus came to abide (live/dwell) with us, so that we could abide (live/dwell) with him.

The birth of Jesus was the beginning of the end of our separation from God. It changed everything. Jesus came to abide (live/dwell) as light in the darkness, offering us hope, peace and joy.

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God was no longer as distant as before. But here. Present. With us. Immanuel.

And just a few short decades later the death and resurrection of Jesus would change it all again. Giving us access to a home we could fully abide (live/dwell) in together. Forever.

But it’s not just for the future, if nothing else, this absolute madness of a year has taught me that abiding is also for right here, right now. This very moment. Here. Present.

Everyday in China I asked God for the grace to make it through just that day. And the next day I asked the same. And the next day the same again. But I think what I didn't have the words to ask for was this:

O Lord. Life passes by swiftly. Events that a few years ago kept me totally preoccupied have now become vague memories; conflicts that a few months ago seemed so crucial in my life now seem futile and hardly worth the energy; inner turmoil that robbed me of sleep only a few weeks ago has now become a strange emotion of the past; books that filled me with amazement a few days ago now do not seem as important; thoughts that kept my mind captive only a few hours ago have now lost their power and have been replaced by others... Why am I continuously trapped in this sense of urgency and emergency? Why do I not see that you are eternal, that your kingdom lasts forever, and that for you a thousand years are like one day? O Lord, let me enter into your presence and there taste the eternal, timeless, everlasting love with which you invite me to let go of my time-bound anxieties, fears, occupations and worries.... Lord teach me your ways and give me the courage to follow them. Amen." Henri Nouwen

This is what abiding this year has looked like - an invitation to let go of my time-bound anxieties, fears, occupations and worries. To live fully loved, at peace, joyfully, on a foundation of trust.

Is this what I've been doing all year? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (pauses to breathe and then resumes hysterical laughter) hahahahaha.

No.

I had to go to China and back to figure this out, let me save you the journey and the planet the carbon emissions. Turns out sometimes abiding feels like a picnic in green pastures beside still waters.tanguy-sauvin-3118-unsplash

But also, abiding can feel like being on a rollercoaster, holding on to the edge of your seat, both eagerly anticipating what’s next and dreading it, uncertain whether to laugh/cry/vomit/all three, wondering why you’ve put yourself in that position AGAIN and why no-one told you it was a bad idea, clinging for dear life/faith/sanity onto the knowledge that God is good and God is with you always even if it doesn’t feel like it, and praying it will all end soon so you can get off and return to life on terra firma.

Christmas, a solid reminder than wherever we find ourselves and whatever is going on God abides with us. Our choice is whether we abide with Him at the picnic, the rollercoaster or elsewhere.

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By Jessica Hagy
By Jessica Hagy
This simple diagram has led me to so much fun and gotten me in so much trouble.
I love comfort. I love not having to embrace the difficult, the stressful and the uncertain. And yet…
Life outside my comfort zone has taught me things I couldn’t have learned any other way. Life outside my comfort zone has developed my character and helped me to grow in faith and hope and love.
Life outside of our comfort zone is both exciting and terrifying. There’s always the possibility of failure with a side plate of embarrassment and wounded pride. But there's also adventure beyond anything we could imagine.
Ever been asked what you would do if money were no object? Apparently, retire tomorrow and travel the world with my friends is not the response people are after. But maybe the question is too narrow – it assumes our only limiting factor is finance. Perhaps a better question would be: what would you do if you trusted even just a little bit more in the goodness, faithfulness and love of God? What would you be brave enough to attempt?
Would we be bolder? More adventurous? More generous? More loving? More forgiving? More hopeful? Would we find it easier to ignore the lies of doubt, fear and worry? Would we be more willing to push the boundaries of our comfort zone?
Jesus said he came to give us life in all its fullness. A fullness which empowers us to make decisions based on faith and not fear. Faith that God loves us beyond our understanding and there's nothing that can separate us from his love. Faith that God is with us wherever we go - whether we're riding the wings of the morning, going into a difficult situation or even to The Gambia. Faith that God is good all the time, and all the time God is good - whether everything goes well or whether we have to rise from the ashes.

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Confession: This life outside the comfort zone is not the life I usually live - I like comfort, did I mention that already? Though occasionally, I dare greatly enough to start a chain reaction that means I have no choice but to leave my Empire of Comfort and embrace the terrifying, exciting, uncertain and unknown. Case in point: I've waved a fond farewell  to my colleagues and have quit my job with no plan  more detailed than 'travel/volunteer in the general Africa or Asia area.' There’s not much about this that sits in my comfort zone.
I keep being told I’m brave, I don’t know about that – brave, foolish, there’s a fine line between the two and given that it feels like I’ve set my life on fire and at least five times a week day hour I ask God what I’ve done and why I couldn’t be content to just be normal, it certainly doesn’t feel brave. Rachel the wild hippy with flowers in her hair would be disappointed at my inability to embrace this unknown. So here I am, currently navigating the outer reaches of my comfort zone – if anyone wants to come join me YOU’RE MORE THAN WELCOME - I have drinks, food and an epic playlist. The sunrises are amazing and the night skies are devastatingly beautiful. And I have a small idea of where we might end up. Everyone but my Nan and sister will love it!
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Sometimes I make myself sick because the very fact that I've written this post means I need to go out be be braver than I want to be. Well done Rach.
What would you do if you trusted even just a little more in the goodness, faithfulness and love of God? What would you be brave enough to attempt? Dare greatly team.

And so, dear reader, the year of endurance is almost over. Rejoice! Celebrate! Kill the fatted calf and pour the drinks! Next year I’m gonna be the Queen of quitting.
I’d love to have a nice shiny pearl of wisdom to impart to you, some eloquent revelation about endurance and what it means. But all I have is three words – stay with it.
Endurance is about staying with it when you’re tired, when you’ve run out of options, when you just want to give up and all you have left is an itsy bitsy teenie weenie tiny glimmer of mustard seed sized hope.

Stay with it – stay with doing hard and holy things, stay with believing God for impossible things, stay with brazen hope, just stay with God through it all in this season you are in." Ann Voskamp

2017 has not been my favourite year (17 is a prime number so we were already off to a bad start - prime numbers are selfish and I don’t like them). But if nothing else, this absolute non-ironic 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife kinda year has taught me that sometimes all you can do is take a deep breath, take your shoes off (it’s grounding) and choose to stay with God.
Endurance is about sticking with faith/hope/love through the minutes/hours/days/weeks/months that started with such promise but seemed to crash and burn despite your very best laid plans of prayers and intentions. Endurance is about sticking with it through the doubt, the fears and tears. Endurance is making decisions based on faith and not fear. Endurance is about staying with the hard and holy things. [Disclaimer: Endurance is not about staying with the abusive, unboundaried and destructive things. Run like you’re about to miss the last train home from those.]
Stay with brazen/bold/barefaced/shameless/unabashed/audacious/unashamed hope – I JUST LOVE THIS.
The secret to endurance? It’s there, written to a people who were being beaten up, jailed and killed for choosing to follow Jesus. We endure by keeping our eyes on Jesus. The number of times I have had to relearn this lesson over the past 12 months is quite frankly embarrassing.
When we take our eyes from Jesus we can find ourselves looking at the situation and start to sink, just like Peter walking to Jesus on water. The weight of what we carry can seem too big. We forget that Jesus invites all those wearied and burdened to come to him for rest.
I used to think endurance was about continuing to move forwards  through the difficult things. But actually, maybe it’s sometimes just about staying on the course - sticking with faith and hope and love when absolutely everything tells you to give up.
Endurance is Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego about to be burnt to death – “We know our God is able to save us, but even if He doesn’t, we will not worship your idols.” They had brazen unashamed wild hope, and yet acknowledged that God might not intervene. They based their decisions on faith and not fear.  They had faith enough to keep believing, faith enough to stay in the race and faith enough to not let their situation dictate their actions “even if…”
Endurance is faith enough to stay with it. Faith enough to pray through the mountains in our way and faith enough to not be offended by prayers unanswered. Faith enough to say this:

I know You're able and I know You can save through the fire with Your mighty hand. But even if You don't, my hope is You alone." Mercyme

My prayer for you in 2018 is that you stay with the hard and holy things with brazen/bold/barefaced/shameless/unabashed/audacious/unashamed hope.
Stay with it babe. In hope and anticipation of the absolute JOY to come in 2018.
Much love x x

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. Hebrews 12v 1-

From the archives of Christmas past and remixed for 2017:

I am loving this song right now. Repeat-repeat-repeat. And then repeat some more.

Isaiah 7v14-15

She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel – ‘God is with us.’

Immanuel. It means God is with us. I return to this every Christmas. God is with us.

God is with us through colds, flu, cancer, broken bones, broken hearts, allergic reactions, depression and the everything in-between.

And God is with us in so healthy we tell absolutely everyone about how many days its been since we had a sick day and how much better life is now that we're meat free, gluten free and sugar free.

God is with us through the job that drains your life but doesn't fill your bank account, the job that you can't escape, your annoying colleagues and when we join the many and the humbled of the unemployed.

And God is with us through the much hoped for, much prayed for but now we've got it don't think we're equipped for promotion.

God is with us when we want nothing more than to find a valley, dig a giant hole, stock it full of good snacks and good books and then climb in and hide from the world forever.

And God is with us when we're standing on the mountaintop, basking in the sunlight, taking selfies for the 'gram and admiring the view.

God is with us when we’re o so can't-think-can't-speak-can't-remember-which-day-of-the-week-it-is tired.

And God is with us when we have so much energy we run around and around and around and around and around and around and still have enough energy left to power the most ridiculous pub Christmas lights you've ever seen:

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God is with us in grief, mourning and the breathless heart wrenching pain of making it through just the next second after hope died and all is lost.

And God is with us in joy and celebration so great you find ways to bring it into each and every single conversation regardless of the original topic - so great to hear about your work trip to an oil rig in Norway and how you monitored the levels of Salmon but have I shown you a picture of my baby cousin yet? Isn't he the absolute most cute baby you've ever seen in your whole life? (the correct answer is yes). Did I tell you he can hold his head up now? Did I tell you he can pull my hair now? Did I tell you he can read books? Did I tell you he can count to 105 even though he's only 6 months old? Did I tell you he learnt to walk at just 3 months? Did I tell you he's the youngest baby ever to pass his driving test? Did I tell you? Did I tell you? Did I tell you? Did I?!

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God is with us when we dread the day ahead more than being forced to watch yet another ridiculous Adam Sandler/Ben Stiller/Will Ferrell/other stupid boy film.

And God is with us when we're so excited for tomorrow that we can't even go to sleep and make the day come quicker.

God is with us through how on earth are we going to pay the rent this month.

And God is with us through we just won the lottery and we're taking everyone we know on a round the world adventure for two years, and then we're buying a yacht, and then we're buying a horse, and then we're buying a unicorn.

God is with us through "I said yes!" and the resulting admin.

God is with us through "It's over" and the resulting admin.

God is with us through (insert your situation here).

God is with us, even when it feels like he isn't, through every season and activity under heaven.

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even until the end of the age. Matthew 28v20

I was asked why its so important that God is with us. Its because it means that God cares. God is not aloof, watching the goings on of the world at an indifferent distance, but instead God is there in the midst of the mess with us, constantly cheering us on further in love and holiness, giving us strength to endure and hope, offering us comfort and an invitation to joy - a life and beyond in all its fullness.

What are you hoping for?

Fine weather tomorrow? A team win? Spice Girls reunion? F.RIENDS reunion? Legs like Beyonce? Strength like Serena? A promotion? Healing? An all expenses paid luxury trip to Patagonia, New Zealand and Cuba? A pet Alpaca? A payrise? End of conflict? Solution to drought? Restored relationships? That election season will be over soon? Super cheap tickets to the Dreamgirls musical?

Who wouldn't want to go to Patagonia?
Who wouldn't want to go to Patagonia?

Are you hoping for something that is pretty much certain? Are you tentatively hoping for something but not that bothered about the outcome? Are you hoping for something with every fibre of your being and simply can't envisage living without the much hoped for outcome? Or are you scared to hope because the disappointment will be too heart wrenching to bear?

And what about those things we just simple can't see ever changing so why bother waste time and energy hoping for the impossible?

It was Easter last weekend and to be honest it passed in a blur. The last four weeks have been a few of the toughest and some of my family are currently fighting their way through their darkest days. Before I knew it, I was in church on Easter Sunday thinking about resurrection, hope and what that means. But right now it still feels like the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday - Silent Saturday. When the followers of Jesus were heartsick with hopes broken.

But unlike them, I know what's to come - joy restored. Maybe not tomorrow, probably not next week or even next month, but its on the way. Despite the tears and sadness I have hope in a God of healing, provision, goodness and abundance.

Seems like 9 times out of 10 hope is a choice, a declaration that despite the circumstances, despite the odds, despite our natural inclination to believe a certain thing, we are choosing to believe that another outcome is possible. It's a step of faith, exposing our vulnerabilities.

It reminds of one of my fave CS Lewis quotes:

To love is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. but in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

To hope is to be vulnerable. Hope for anything and your dreams will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping them intact you must hope for nothing, not even a sunny day tomorrow. Wrap it around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your pessimism. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become impenetrable, irredeemable. To hope is to be vulnerable.

Because when we hope we have to embrace the possibility that what we hope for might not happen. Our prayers might not be answered the way we want. But when we hope we fly in the face of an enemy who would have us discouraged and despairing. No hope means we deny the God of abundance and miracles, no hope means we believe the situation is more than God can handle.

Perhaps hope is like a giant jar we carry around, when the lid is off, when we have hope, it weighs nothing, allowing it to be filled with the comfort and peace of God. But when the lid is on, when we have no hope, we refuse the comfort and peace of God, and instead it weighs more than a moon-sized elephant, causing us physical and emotional damage a we lug it around, contorting out bodies and lives to carry it.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15v13

 

I don’t know what to do about the pain.
Not mine.
Theirs'.
The mothers’ - daughters’ - sisters’ - aunts’ - cousins’ - nieces’ - grandmothers’ - friends’ - neighbours’.
I don’t know what to do about the pain.
Not mine.
Theirs’.
The fathers’ - sons’ - brothers’ - uncles’ - cousins’ - nephews’ - grandfathers’ - friends’ - neighbours’.
Aleppo. Yemen. South Sudan... The list goes on.
War. Famine. Destruction. Lines drawn between Us and Them.
I can make donations, right letters, sign petitions, light candles, weep, mourn and go to demonstrations.
But I don’t know what to do about the pain, the grief, the shattered lives and blood soaked clothing.
It is with them every minute. But I can barely read, talk or think about it.
The option to shut out the pain is a privilege.
Today we in church we sang about the baby in the manager, the Prince of Peace.

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Yet peace seems further and farther away.
And though my head knows there is hope in the wiping of every tear and end to death one day, my heart ached with pain of the present.
Despite what the world says, I know You are good.
Despite what the world says, I know that Your heart grieves for every lost life and heart filled with pain.
Despite what the world says you are Emmanuel - God with us. It's your very name.
I know you are Good. I know this is true.
But right now I don't know what to do about the pain.
And so I live in the tension of celebrating joy to a broken world.
So I will continue to pray for your good and perfect will of Love, Justice & Peace  to be done.
I will continue to pray for our world leaders to make wise, compassionate and loving decisions.
I will continue to pray for protection, healing and provision to those living in terror.
I will continue to pray for comfort for those who mourn.
I will continue to pray that we will love and forgive our neighbours.
I will choose to rejoice despite the darkness.

I wrote this a couple of years ago in response to a world that seemed full of violence, hate, pain and death. This has felt like another such a week - hence the remix.

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1v5

 

Last last weekend I ventured into the wilds of Basingstoke-shire to see some of the East London crew.

It was a weekend full of the usuals and the unexpecteds:

The usual apprehension about trips to the country:  no street lights, axe murders hiding in the trees, no phone reception when being chased by said murderer, amazement at big open green spaces and seeing an actual live cow. A real cow. Not a burger.

Some of the unexpecteds: managing  to eat celery and mushrooms without crying, wifi,  & going for a walk by myself in the country without getting lost and/or murdered by a mad axe man (win win).

I was reminded of why I found leaving Bethnal Green so sad. I was reminded that my story, though important, is not the only one. Let me break it down for you...

Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus and their brother, Lazarus was dying. So they did the most logical thing when someone you love is seriously sick and you happen to have a friend who can heal - they sent Jesus a message to let him know. They probably hoped that Jesus would come right away and heal their brother – bringing an end to the pain and anxiety of Lazarus being on his literal death bed. (Read John 11 for the full story).

But Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus had died.

Four days late you could say. Four days of heart wrenching grief. Four days of pain and sorrow. Four days of so many tears you have none left. Four days of so many tears you think you have none left but somehow they appear from somewhere over the rainbow. Four days of wondering how Jesus could have stood by and let this happen to you. Four days of wondering why you even bothered to tell Jesus what was happening – because apparently it made no difference. Four days of wondering if Jesus didn't even care. Four days of people trying to say the right thing and making it worse. Four days of people saying the right thing and bringing some comfort. Four days of wondering what the future holds. Four days of wondering why it didn’t turn out as you hoped for with all your heart. Four days of unanswered questions. Four days of trying to remember that death is not the end. Four days of clinging to the hope of resurrection and heaven. Four days of heart wrenching grief.

Ever been there? Hope deferred and heartsick? Ever wondered why what you hoped for with all your heart is as dead as Lindsay Lohan's music career?

The thing about Mary and Martha was that God had a bigger plan than just healing their brother. God had a bigger plan than just restoring their family and ending their pain by bringing Lazarus’ back from the dead. Their story was not the only one.

Many people had come to mourn with Mary and Martha, and many of them were at the tomb when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. As a result of witnessing this miracle many of them believed in Jesus. They were still talking about it a few days later in Jerusalem.

So when Jesus first heard that Lazarus was sick he could have gone straight away and healed him. And maybe only a few people outside of their community would ever have known – and maybe few of those would have believed that it was true.

But God’s timing meant many people witnessed the miracle of life being brought back to a dead man. Many people outside of their community heard about it.

It was never just about Mary, Martha and Lazarus. They were part of a bigger story.

Ever been there? Hope deferred, heartsick and wondering why.

I would like to promise you that if you stick it out, just have a little patience, God will do the unexpected when you have lost all hope. Maybe He will. But maybe its just like my invite to Beyonce's next party - got lost in the post and never gonna happen.

Or just maybe you’re part of a bigger story that though painful will mean much to many others.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16v33

I just LOVE this Tolkien quote:

“We all long for [Eden], and we are constantly glimpsing it; our whole nature at it’s best and least corrupted, it’s gentlest and most humane, is still soaked with the sense of ‘exile’... As far as we can go back the nobler part of the human mind is filled with the thoughts of sibb (peace, kinship), peace and goodwill. And with the thought of it’s loss.”

I have so much drama surrounding being exiled to the suburbs. I’ve been reading the Old Testament books dealing with the Exile of the people of Israel and Judah – there was a lot of drama there too.  But this weekend I realised that Adam and Eve were the first exiles. They were exiled from the Garden of Eden.

So the Lord God banished Adam and his wife from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. After banishing them from the garden, the Lord stationed mighty angelic beings to the east of Eden. And a flaming sword flashed back and forth guarding the way to the tree of life.                                                                                                                                              Genesis 3 v 23-24

After Adam and Eve ate fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil their relationship with God was broken. Their relationship with each other was fractured. And their relationship with the garden was corrupted. The consequence was that they were exiled.

God exiled Adam and Eve from the place where they were in a perfect relationship with God, a perfect relationship with each other and a perfect relationship with the garden. God exiled them from the place where they had known peace and unity with God, peace and unity with each other and peace and unity with the garden. The peace and sweet living of former days was gone and there was nothing they could do to bring it back.

Instead they had to work the earth for food. They had to navigate the parameters of their new relationship. God no longer walked with them in the garden – their relationship with him was broken beyond their ability to repair it; they were separated.

Unlike me who ends up in East London nearly every week, Adam and Eve could no longer return to the place they had called home. Banished. Exiled. Never to return.

The Old Testament chronicles life for God’s people from that moment of exile. It points toward the one who could and would bring us back to the peace and unity of the garden. It points to the one who would establish a kingdom of justice and righteousness, removing evil from the world. It points to the one who would bring us back from exile into a relationship with God. It points to Jesus.

And so it follows that the New Testament is how God enables us to return from exile and how we can live our lives neither exiled from our relationship with God, but not quite home yet. Not quite returned to the peace and unity of the garden.

I think this is what Tolkien meant – no matter how perfect a particular moment in time we always know that it will end. So we long for the time in the garden when all was well. We are soaked with a sense of exile.

I know in Advent we’re supposed to be looking forward to celebrating the arrival of Christ on earth. But my heart always skips from being thankful for the birth of Christ as a man on earth, to being even more thankful that his death and resurrection can bring us back from exile – if we would choose it.

Choose life y'all.

Yesterday was the first day of Advent (although I'm already three four five days into my advent calendar - quit judging, I was hungry yeh).

I wanted to write something poetic about the start of the Season of Goodwill celebrating Christ becoming a Man and all that jazz. I wanted to describe the poignant symbolism and candlemonium (yes it is a real word) of the Christingle service at church. Something about how I love the unity of standing in a circle holding candles stuck in oranges, slowly passing on the flame. Something about how Jesus being the Light of the World by which the darkness is conquered makes so much more sense when the flickering flame of the candle helps you to see your brothers and sisters on the far side of the room. I wanted to segway into a Narnia reference and then end it all with a sweet scripture from one of the prophets about the coming of the King establishing peace and justice.

But I don’t have the words - maybe once I've put in my 10,000 hours I will. Instead, you know what They say - when in doubt, C. S. Lewis quote it out...

On the incarnation

The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man—a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular colour, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus inside a Woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.

From Mere Christianity 

Happy Advent y'all.

Christingle service at St Peter's Bethnal Green

The thing about exile is that the familiar has been replaced...

But His faithful love endures forever.

The thing about exile is that you don’t know when/if ever you will return...

But His faithful love endures forever.

The thing about exile is that at 7.30am whilst on your way to the train station you may end up arguing  debating with your dad about global warming, climate change and the validity of scientific research (for the record – I won that discussion)...

But His faithful love endures forever.

The thing about exile is that you have to decide whether to establish new rhythms of life or just wait until you return and can revive the old songs...

But His faithful love endures forever.

The thing about exile is that you have to find patience when your mum decides it would be fun to read you sections of a children’s joke book for 20 minutes...

But His faithful love endures forever.

The thing about exile is that it’s easy to focus on everything that is Now and forget what has already gone before,  "I am the Lord your God who rescued you from Egypt"...

But His faithful love endures forever.

The thing about exile is that thanksgiving and praise is the best survival plan.

Thank Jesus that His faithful love endures forever.