Advent

Advent: "A Change of Key"

The Reverend Margaret Legg

From the sunny uplands of Galilee to Jerusalem; from teaching and parables to the Apocalyptic language we have just heard, the long Sundays of Trinity are over, we’re looking towards Advent. Apocalypse, from the Greek word meaning revelation or disclosure, describes the wild and turbulent state that will presage the coming of God’s Messiah.

Advent: "Words matter"

The Reverend Margaret Legg

Words matter, our words matter. In Advent, one way to prepare for the arrival of another voice, that of the Word made flesh, is to pay attention to our words. From which part of us do they spring. From our own vanity, by which I mean more than pride. It includes fear, shame, resentment, emotions that spring from our own egos. Or from God, from that divine spark deep within us, our God centres

Advent: "Judgement and Appeals"

The Revd Margaret Legg

Where do you stand on the ‘Shall we bomb Syria debate?’ Should we, or shouldn’t we? Or: Is Paralympian Pistorius a murderer or not? On Thursday, the South African Supreme Court changed his sentence, on appeal, from ‘culpable homicide’ to murder. The view of the court was that when Pistorius shot 4 bullets through the locked toilet door, he shot to kill, he did kill and that is murder.

Advent: "The Other Day in a City Not So Far Away..."

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

It’s already started, the excitement has been growing for nearly the whole year. Toys are being bought, decorations are going up, the most embarrassing outfits chosen. The anticipation is guaranteed to grow to fever pitch. Looking forward to the retelling of a story of Good triumphing over Evil. There will be parties in the streets, shops will be overwhelmed by demand and for a fortnight there will be almost nothing else talked about.

Advent: "Up-talk"

The Revd Margaret Legg

My name’s Margaret? I’m preaching on John the Baptist this morning? But I could preach on Mary, or a miracle?

This is Up-Talk – you come to the end of what you’re trying to say and your voice rises in a kind of insecure, worrying way? So people know you’re really engaged with them and you really welcome their response. It could be considered polite, because you are acknowledging that the other may not agree and you are willing to hear that and adapt.

Advent: "The One Where Chandler Falls Asleep"

The Revd Robin Sims-Williams

KEEP AWAKE.

The demand seems weighed down with a threat, a threat of what will happen to you if you fall asleep. It reminds me of an episode in the 9th series of Friends, originally aired 12 years ago! In the episode, Chandler falls asleep in a meeting, waking with a start he agrees to whatever he’s asked, fearing admitting that he’s been asleep. Instead, unknowingly, he’s agreed to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Advent: "Which Dress To Buy?"

The Revd Margaret Legg

Should I treat myself to a new dress for Christmas? (About time too I hear my family mutter).

Walking down Porchester Place – Atelier Mayer windows: a stunning little number gold, sparkly, even nicer than the LBLD (little black lace dress) in that morning’s paper and maybe I wear too much black....! Reflecting on this morning’s readings and pretty clear message that what counts is not appearance, the outer image, but about what sort of people we are becoming.

Advent: "The Prophets and the Press"

Statute or freedom?

In the wake of the Leveson Enquiry and now the death of Jacinda Saldanha, one of the nursing staff caught up in the hoax phone call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge has been staying, which side are you on in the debate over a free press? Muzzle them with statute backed regulation – they are clearly no use at regulating themselves or freedom, freedom, freedom – it’s one of the lynch pins of a democratic free society.

Advent: "Seeing Visions"

The Revd Brutus Green

In times past there have been visions of how society should be and what the ideal life of men and women would be. Medieval times saw society as a scala naturae, a great chain of being, stretching from God through the divisions of the angels and humans, then through the animal kingdom finally down to rock, at the bottom of the chain with no greater claim than bare existence.

Advent: "Cognitive Ease"

The Revd Brutus Green

I have slight obsessive tendencies. Nothing too disturbing or unmanageable. Just a slight craving for order. The sort of straightening cutlery at dinner, making the table symmetrical, compulsion that some might mistake just for an attention to detail. It noticeably increases in times of stress or anxiety. So if I’m really hectically busy, I also have to fit in a couple of hours for tidying. Counter-productive but as they say, tidy room, tidy mind.