Saturday, 23 December 2017

Opinion - 23 December 2017

Paul Bayes God With Us

The Anglican Communion News Service has compiled a list of Christmas messages from Anglican Primates.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Christmas Letter 2017

Jonathan Draper Afterthoughts Praise Be!

Giles Goddard ViaMedia.News 2018 – A Year for Vigorous & Positive Action…

Sam Wells Evening Standard Be more material this Christmas; your spiritual side can wait

Eve Poole Church Times Saintly St Francis versus secular St Nicholas?
“Christmas offers a chance to reclaim the theology of desire which has been captured by consumerism”

Giles Fraser The Guardian Tidings of comfort and joy can’t take the pain out of life
“When my son can’t sleep and I offer reassurance I am reminded that, as a priest, that’s my job”
[Photo of the crib referenced in Giles’s column]

Catherine Fox Church Times Eternity wrapped in a span
“Catherine Fox finds it a struggle to grasp the magnitude of what happened in the Bethlehem stable”

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

Aren't both St. Francis and St. Nicholas batting for the same side then?

Posted by: Father David on Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 11:25am GMT

Catherine Fox hits upon Charles Wesley's most wonderful hymn that begins:
Let earth and heaven combine,
Angels and men agree,
To praise in songs divine
The incarnate Deity,
Our God contracted to a span,
Incomprehensibly made Man.

The other verses are every bit as good, reeking of patristic theology and the doctrine of theosis. Why is this hymn not better known?

Posted by: Stanley Monkhouse on Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 11:29am GMT

Thank you for the link to the photo referenced by Giles Fraser in his article. It is an artistic presentation with a tremendous existential feel to it.

A blessed celebration of the nativity of our Lord to the staff at Thinking Anglicans,and to all who comment here.

"...all the way to heaven is heaven; and as those angels which came from heaven hither, bring heaven with them and are in heaven here, so that the soul that goes to heaven meets heaven here; and as those angels do not divest heaven by coming, so these souls invest heaven, in their going." --John Donne ( On The Weight of Eternal Glory).

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 2:32pm GMT

Nice one Sam Wells.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 7:17pm GMT

At this time when we celebrate the Incarnation of the Word, I reflect on one of the prayers at Mass:

"By the Mystery of this Water and Wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ - who humbled himself to share in our humanity"

This prayer should be followed by a great "Amen".

A Joyful Christmas everyone at T.A.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 23 December 2017 at 8:35pm GMT

Thank you, Father Ron, for the reminder of this extraordinary mystery of God's coming to dwell with us and share in our humanity, calling us as well to share in the presence of divinity, to share with each other, with our poor neighbour, with the lonely person on the street, and with the household of the holy Trinity.

'Come' said Jesus again and again. Jesus who was born in the back streets, who invites us to come to him in the back streets of our cities and the back streets of our own hearts. Jesus who longs for us to open the doors and let him in to our lives.

Jesus who was born for sacrifice and blood... to the point of no turning back... for giving... as the gift of God to us... and born in blood and tears in the sidelines of an empire, in the obscurity, in the dirt, in the givenness of a young woman, and the undisclosed decency of a young man.

The God who longs to share even consciousness and awareness with us... to share the flow of love... to open and grow in the mystery of our becoming, and the mystery of God's becoming in back street humanity, and the meeting and tenderness and alongside-ness of a life among us.

Sharing. The whole point really. The God who came and shared with us. A backstreet God of the marginalised. A God without airs and graces. A God who is presence when words alone can't reach and comfort the tears. Lord have mercy.

Remarkable mystery... not the mystery of plaster saints... perhaps as Yeats said, something of what perhaps the Magi spent a lifetime trying to find and experience again:

"The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor..."

The humble-hearted and obscure coming of God... among us... always calling to us... always loving us... always seeking out the people on the sidelines and the lonely corners of our world.

May the blessings of peace be with you this Nativity, Father, and peace of God to each and every person who visits these pages.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Sunday, 24 December 2017 at 9:39am GMT

Amen to that Fr Stanley! It is Charles Wesley at his best, and I have rarely sing it outwith the Methodist tradition, except when I have included it in a Christmas service. And not a bad tune by W H Havergal!

Posted by: cryptogram on Sunday, 24 December 2017 at 3:23pm GMT

Thanks to people who post or read here for your sometimes fractious (I’m an offender) but I think basically loving fellowship (not our doing but orientated to something good by the name we invoke or imply). Anyway happy Christmas, and especially to you who run this site or work in any kind of service. Thanks for sharing this and offering a place where some of us can still feel like we are part of a church.

Posted by: ExRevd on Tuesday, 26 December 2017 at 12:27am GMT

Re: Tim Chesteron, "Nice one Sam Wells."

ditto,itou !

and, happy new year to all.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Sunday, 31 December 2017 at 7:06pm GMT

I sent around a link to the Sam Wells article to some friends. In a reply one of my correspondents returned fire with a link (below) to an interview from several years ago with Chris Hedges.

It is certainly a bridge much further on than the Sam Wells piece. Perhaps of interest.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Monday, 1 January 2018 at 7:08pm GMT
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