Having not blogged here at all for a while, I suddenly had ALL THE THOUGHTS in church today that I wanted to share.
1) When it's cold in church, everyone's breath looks like incense. Prayer-smoke rising to heaven. Every breath of our bodies is that sacred. I love it.
2) This is the first time in ages that I've 'done' Advent in church. Since finishing my Destuckification Novena I've become a lot more obsessed with God's kingdom coming and all beings reaching enlightenment, and the Advent thing turns out to REALLY RESONATE with that. As far as I can see, there are three things happening at Advent:
We're waiting for Jesus to be born. This is sacred playing-at-waiting for something that happened long ago, and it's also actual waiting, because time is wibbly-wobbly and every year it happens now.
We're waiting and opening ourselves up for a birth-of-God experience to happen inside us, at a time when the 'thought weather' is perfect for it, because the whole Christian world, and many other faiths, and the world itself, are all in the same phase of renewal, hope, and joy out of the darkness.
We're waiting for God's kingdom to come. All the old stories and prophecies about the coming of Jesus become stories and prophecies of what Christians call the Second Coming, what Buddhists call the enlightenment of all beings, and what New Age mystics call the ascension of Earth... and we are passionately waiting for them to come true. And I swear this passionate waiting brings that moment closer...
For lo, the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold;
When Peace shall over all the earth
Her ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.
3) I had a stoopid epiphany about Communion. I'm sure I've thought this before, but I got re-hit by it today. All this talk in the Communion service about everyone being part of the 'body of Christ' - it's not just about ecclesiastical unity, it's about everybody being literally one. With each other and with God. Literally.
Though we are many, we are one body.
Child and serpent, star and stone, we are all one, all one...
You know. THAT. Separation is an illusion. Make me one with everything! Communion is a picture of that, AND it's a magic spell that helps our bodies and souls remember the truth of it. One step closer to the day when we'll remember it all the time and never forget...
4) WHO GETS TO DO A READING AT THE CAROL SERVICE? I GET TO DO A READING AT THE CAROL SERVICE! The vicar picked me to read this poem by Janet Lees...
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness
There’s a voice crying in the wilderness
In the inner city wastelands
And run-down sixties housing estates
And the voice says “Get ready for God.”
“Make the paths straight
Repair the potholes and re-lay the pavements.
Level the empty tower blocks
and use the rubble as the foundation for God’s new motorway
straight into the heart of the city,
into the heart of the problem,
into your heart and mine.
Bend and break the proud and the powerful
Raise up those who are bent over and weighed down
So that they and everyone can recognise God’s handiwork.
Unconditional love, dogs and Mary Poppins
- This whole 'actually going to church' thing is GREAT when it comes to Advent