Tag Archive: advent


Advent word: Humble

This year I have started 2 new jobs, moved house and in with my partner, done a reno/fitout, helped start up a vape shop we now live behind. That’s a lot of change. I’ve never been very good at a 5-year plan… I feel like the house that comes my way, that is where I will make home. Those with whom I live and work, with them I’ll share life. An angel bears news. Is it good? Is it bad? No one can know when they answer: Let it be with me as you have said. #humble #māhaki #adventwords2019

Advent word: Time

I overslept this morning and felt ‘out’ all day. Out of step. Out of time. Outside of time. Hurry up and slow down There’s time yet. #time #wā #adventwords2019

James Baldwin – Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems

It’s me that visits. Words that are both brand new and utterly familiar at the same time somehow. I think that’s what truth sounds like.  #visit #toro #adventwords2019

These strawberry plants were a gift from Long’s garden to my own when I moved to a house that had empty garden beds. These plants have moved locations twice, been covered over with soil and recovered twice (NOT weeds!) and also moved house with me. This is their third summer, the first they have bloomed and borne fruit, and I am delighted. #unexpected #hemeaohorere #adventwords2019

It’s here

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put yourself in the way
and turn out fear
scent anticipation instead
and the advent of things
long awaited for
it’s coming, it’s coming
it’s here

Talitha Fraser

Sing about it until it can be realised” is a quote from Ched at the Kinsler Institute earlier this year… a call to write, play and sing the songs of freedom until freedom is won.  During Love Makes A Way (LMAW) actions some supporters stay outside to bear witness to the action – singing, praying and advocating for those within.  So far this draws heavily on the freedom songs of the Negro Spirituals, changing the lyrics to familiar tunes but what are the songs for and from our own context?

Started brainstorming how these songs are effective/communicate… says without saying, not religious language but accessible, short, call and repeat/memorable/simple/easy to pick up, capture sadness/grief…

Here’s a couple of goes at playing around:

Let me in

There is room at the table x3

Let me in, let me in

There is room at the borders x3

Let me in, let me in

There is room in our hearts x3

Let me in, let me in

There is hope for a new tomorrow x3

Let me in, let me in

[can make up your own variations: there is room for… the children, in the playground, in the classroom, etc.]

And who is already speaking for these issues? who are our own voices in the wilderness calling for a world that is different?  Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, poet and cultural commentator, I’ve appropriated some of his words from a cartoon and arranged them so this can be sung as a round which is beautiful because when you’re looping “love is born” rings out through and over the “dark and troubled” and “when hope is dead”.

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And because I write words not music the best I can offer is a basic recording to give a gist with my blessings and my apologies!

LMAW songs

Communion at FCOC

[Hand out both bread and wine so that they are in our hands]

Yesterday I was in my car and had a little Christmas tantrum “I HATE Christmas!” thumped the steering wheel… “I can’t wait for it to be over…”

Every day I feel like I’m running from thing to thing and doing them all badly, traffic’s terrible – don’t get me started on Highpoint and there’s so many social things to do, I’m barely overlapping with my housemates… I’m stressed out. Yesterday in my car I asked myself the question, “Where is God in this?” How can I engage with the deeper meaning of Christmas when I get swept up in the commercialness and busyness of it?

I’m going to read a poem by Peter Rollins called “In the name…” in an attempt to answer that – invite you to hold the elements and reflect on where you yourself are at at this point of the season… and where God is in the mix. Some of the language may be a bit confronting but it captures some of the missed feelings I have around this time of year and I trust that while we won’t identify with all of it, we will all identify with some of it.

The Lord be with you… and also with you.

In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

In the name of goodness and love and broken community.

In the name of meaning and feeling and I hope you don’t screw me…

In the name of darkness and light and ungraspable twilight

In the name of meal times and sharing and caring by firelight

In the name of action and peace and human redemption

In the name of eating, and drinking and table confession

In the name of sadness, regret, and holy obsession, the holy name of anger, the spirit of aggression…

In the name of forgive and forget and I hope I get over this…

In the name of the Father, and Son and the Holy Spirit

In the name of beauty and beaten and broken down daily.

In the name of seeing our creeds and believing in maybe, we gather here, a table of strangers, and speak of our hopeland and talk of our danger…

to make sense of our thinking to authenticate lives to humanise feeling and stop telling lies.

In the name of philosophy, theology and who gives a damn?

In the name of employment and study and finding new family.

In the name of our passion, our loving and indecent obsessions

In the name of prayer and of worship and of demon possession.

In the name of solitude, and quiet and holy reflection.

In the name of the lost, and the lonely and the withered direction

In the name of efficiency, stupidity and the wholly ineffectual

In the name of the straight, the queer, transgender and bisexual

In the name of boot clogs, and boob jobs and erectile dysfunction. Schizophrenia, hysteria and obsessive compulsion.

In the name of Mary and Jesus and the mostly silent Joseph.

In the name of speaking to ourselves, saying this is more than I can cope with…

In the name of touch up and break up, and break down and weeping

In the name of therapy, and prozac and full-hearted breathing.

In the name of sadness and madness and years since I’ve smiled.

In the name of the unknown, alien and the holy in exile

In the name of goodness and kindness and intentionality. 

In the name of harbor and shelter and family.

(like telling an exciting secret…)

Christ is coming!

Christ is coming!

Christ is coming!

The Lord be with you… and also with you.

Let’s eat and drink.

This week, the second of advent, we light the candle of peace. We light it knowing full well that peace is elusive, and in some parts of the world almost completely absent – but God is never absent from us. God is always preparing something new. And even where there is war and discord, whether between countries, within families or within our own hearts, God is present, leading us to new possibilities. Loving God, in this time of preparation and planning, we thank you for the hope and peace you unfailingly offer us. Show us the creative power of hope. The us the peace that comes from justice. Prepare our hearts to be transformed by You – that we might walk in Your light. Amen.

I’m sure this is a time of year when everyone feels a lot of pressure – things to finish off before the end of the year, things to do, people to see, the quandary between the things I think/feel and the things I think I’m supposed to think/feel at this time of year…

I couldn’t sleep last night so I got up and started baking, found something soothing in following basic instructions, getting my hands dirty, feeling like I was making something – tangible evidence of results from work which I can sometimes be frustrated by not feeling day to day, I knew I was on prayers today but I felt like my head was in such a clamour that even if God were guiding me to some words of inspiration here – I couldn’t hear them.

It’s tempting to want to retreat from everything – get away from the commercialisation and the crowds, and family responsibilities – then my Christmas could be “holy”.  But then I’m also running away from the lesson of Incarnation, the enfleshing of God —the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus don’t run from the secular stuff; but rather we try to transform it.

a book called…

The Whisper of Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . Joe E. Pennel, Jr., Nashville, Upper Room, 1984, p. 61

says     “There is no evidence of any kind regarding the date of Jesus’ birth. His nativity began to be celebrated on Dec. 25 in Rome during the early part of the fourth century (AD 336) as a Christian counterpart to the pagan festival, popular among the worshipers of Mithras, called Sol Invictis, the Unconquerable Sun. At the very moment when the days are the shortest and darkness seems to have conquered light, the sun passes its nadir. Days grow longer, and although the cold will only increase for quite a long time, the ultimate conquest of winter is sure. This astronomical process is a parable of the career of the Incarnate One. At the moment when history is blackest, and in the least expected and obvious place, the Son of God is born…”

…a wiry tree growing up strong in a place where a tree shouldn’t be

Invite you to take something from the plate and to find something sustaining in something simple and home made, to smell the ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate.

I thought we could sit in silence, however you feel comfortable, and just “be”…    after a minute or two, I’m going to play something instrumental  –  invite you to slow your breathing….                   let everything that’s in your head, everything going on, rise up and then let it go…       I invite you to be open to the advent of God.

Perhaps try and recapture some of the wonder… mystery… and believing in fragile miracles that can make this time of year meaning-full  and transforming for us.  Once the music is going feel free to light a candle, or speak prayers aloud if you like…

Wominjeka, Haere mai, Maliu mai, Dynnargh… w elcome our God of wonder…