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Reflections on a Bittersweet Christmas 11 January 2006

Posted by Dr Moose in Uncategorized.
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(Category: Life, Faith)
If I don’t post this now it will never be done…

If ever I needed reminding that Jesus was born into the potentially dangerous and unstable thing that is the human life I was reminded of this over late Advent and the Christmas season by three events.

On Christmas Eve I ventured out into the country, as is the fate of one without their own church, to help out at a village Midnight service. After an enjoyable hour with 40 or so folks “the lowest number we’ve had for years” (they must have heard I was coming!) I got into my car, serenaded by by the sound of blackbirds singing in the dark. A forestaste of the morning light to come, and nature’s participation in the wonder of Christmas.

Driving home afterwards I drove past the spot where J, the 16 year old whose funeral I had done less than two weeks before, had been killed. There by the hedge remains the impromptu roadside shrine of flowers and memories. And in the dark, even as I passed, twinkled the mourning lights, candles in memory of a life that burned bright and all too short, whose passing has inflicted burning grief in so many teenage (and older) hearts in MLPK.

I had thought those two summed up the season, but I was forcefully reminded of the frailty of all life a few days later when I heard that one of my congregation, an elderly lady with a perpetual twinkle, who always sheds light simply by being who she is, had had a stroke on Christmas morning.

In the midst of all this my intentions to remember the bitter challenge of living in this world, in the form of Holy Innocents, were rather overtaken by the “now”, and the challenges of today.

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