Advent Diary – 23rd December 2015

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Culmination

Today is the culmination of all things, the preparation coming together so that we can move forward from a place of great spiritual strength, even if it only lasts for one moment it does not matter. I love Malcolm’s wonderful reflection on the hidden names of Christ in the incredible O Antiphons, the play on words in its simplest form, on the references in “O Emmanuel” to items that reminded me of a Pilgrim’s bag.

A chap called Steven Payne has spent part of Advent walking as a medieval Pilgrim from Southampton to Canterbury, sleeping under hedgerows as a Pilgrim would have done, in anticipation of the destination the only hope to keep them on track. I thought of Steven’s blog in the single phrase of, “..O quickened little wick so tightly curled..” (from Malcolm’s sonnet, “O Emmanuel”) as a reference to a precious little candle stub to light on Christmas Eve to herald in the coming of Christ. This is the wonder of Advent and Christmas. All are waiting for this arrival with us – in us – as a new life and this new life is reborn within – in – us. Advent is the culmination of preparation of not only our home but our home within – our soul and our spirit; within we nurture that precious little candle stub with its curled wick.

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I had an idea or two for a drawing, a Pilgrim’s bag, the little candle stub, but I kept coming back to a photograph I took when on retreat at Alton Abbey in Hampshire. It was a moment of pure bliss when the Sun just poured in through the gap in the curtain and lit up the atmosphere with a ray of light. This chair in the photograph is a representation of waiting, the anticipation of the next step on retreat, a moment of awakening in creation and the Cosmos of Christ’s Light. The final great O of Advent. O Come, maranatha, GOD with Us.

Steven’s Pilgrims Progress blog can be found here.

Malcolm’s word can be heard here.

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