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Advent & Entropy 6 December 2016

Posted by Dr Moose in Advent, Life, Ponderings, Theology.
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The sky through my window had taken on the hue of blue-black ink, and the light of day is done, even if the blog hasn’t been. Today the Church has celebrated St Nicholas, the prototype Father Christmas, whose gift of gold, deposited in stockings drying over the fire (to save their owners from a life of prostitution, no less) has been blended into the rituals of much of the West’s celebration of Christmas. Rather different from the consumerist excess that has been peddled to us for weeks already, and many years before. The quantity, quality and date of onset vary, but the phenomenon remains.

stationary-cupboardAs we know, nothing stays the same (or, according to the popular understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy always increases). The live is to change. The door sign that caught my eye is wrong for more than one reason. The cupboard may not appear to change, except perhaps in stock levels, but it does, nevertheless. Paint fades, hinges age, buildings move, albeit by tiny amounts, and the level of contents certainly varies over time. It may not be a portal to Narnia, or the public face of a TARDIS, but the sign is still something of a lie.

Even the most traditional of institutions change. That change may be death, the ultimate change, or slow and guarded, as can be seen in the various faces of the Church Universal. Society might complain about the slowness of progress within the Church of England (which publicly recognises the call to proclaim the faith afresh for each generation), but we are positively hasty by comparison to my Orthodox friends, hobbits in the face of ents to refer to Tolkien. And of course not all change is for the better, not all innovation is beneficial. Perhaps part of the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, that questions expertise and science rides on the fact that science seeks to continually investigate, and where necessary be ready to refine, or even refute the formerly accepted hypotheses. (Just look at the drive to diesel cars a few years back and the current evidence that this probably wasn’t such a good idea after all).

Advent remains an attempt to consciously slow the pace, to ponder and prepare for that which we know, we hope, to be coming (and I was pointed to rather nice little explanatory piece courtesy of my Facebook feed, and I apologise for failing to attribute the sharer. as I can’t remember!) And that coming, includes an expectation of an end, and of a new beginning. An entropic reset and all things made new. Something worth waiting for, perhaps?

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