Liminal Space – the time in between

Sometimes the anticipation of something is better than the actual thing itself! Do you ever find that? When the thing we’ve waited for finally arrives, the pleasure swiftly ebbs. The reality is perhaps not quite what we’ve built it up to be. Or, if it was as wonderful as we had hoped, I might compare […]

It’s Christmas… but not as we know it

This must be one of the strangest, and for many the saddest, Christmas we have experienced. As I write this, on Christmas Eve morning, I listen to Christmas Carols with such a heavy heart. I am sorry that my Christmas Eve message to you is not one of happiness and sparkles. But to write that […]

the light shines in the darkness…

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1.5) Today is the turning of the year, the Winter Solstice, our darkest and shortest day, when the sun seems to stand still. From tomorrow there will be gradually more sunshine, the light growing longer each day as winter ebbs and […]

Voices of Advent: unexpected silence

Two days ago, a close friend of mine sent me a quote which stopped me dead in my tracks. “I find delight and beauty in the silence of the men in the Advent story. Zechariah can’t speak. Joseph doesn’t speak. While the words and emotions of Mary and Elizabeth are centred. The sound of Advent […]

unexpected renewal…

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me… to bind up the broken-hearted… to comfort all who mourn…. to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.(Isaiah 61.1-4, […]

the wisdom & memory of trees

thoughts on Isaiah 61.1-4, 8-11, Third Sunday of Advent When I was about 15, I remember one of my favourite albums was The Memory of Trees by Enya. I loved it – the sound, the depth, the harmony, the peace. I still love her music, and have rediscovered it these past couple of weeks. It’s […]

“Comfort & joy”? Are you kidding?!

This was my sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent 2020… “Comfort O Comfort my people! The voice crying out in the Wilderness, Make straight the Way of the Lord!” (Isaiah 40.1-11) If any year has felt like a wilderness, surely it must be this year! Since January when the news of the strange epidemic […]

Comfort & Joy – the heart of Advent & Christmas

“O Comfort ye my people” says the prophet Isaiah, memorably set to music by Handel in the Messiah, and mispronounced by choirs down the decades as “come for tea, my people”, as many choirmasters will attest. “O tidings of Comfort and Joy!” announces the familiar Christmas carol, sung each year with gusto in carol services […]