All posts by Catherine Lee

Advent Word 2022, Day 22 ‘Purify’ 潔淨

#AdventWord #Purify #潔淨

‘“Purify our conscience almighty God, by your daily visitation….”.

So begins the collect for the Fourth Sunday of Advent 2022. We are exhorted to open up space in our hearts, minds, and souls for God’s grace, that we may find the strength and courage to become cleansed crystal clear in God’s sight. How can we manage to do this? Through self-control, prayer, repentance, wholehearted devotion to the ways of Jesus in our daily lives. In return, God sees our potential, continually renewing us with the living water of the Spirit, continually freeing us from guilt and shame. In the imitation of the purity of Mary and Jesus, we are purified so we can nurture our gifts to grow in the Christian life.’ (Elizabeth T. Massey)

Newly-opened & redeveloped Battersea Power Station, Nine Elms, London – containing shops, offices (incl. new Apple campus) and apartments. Opened October 2022.

‘From the 1930s to 1980s, Battersea Power Station was a working coal-fired Power Station. At its peak, it was producing a fifth of London’s power, supplying electricity to some of London’s most recognisable landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace’.

London was once famous for its smog, the ‘pea-soupers’ of the 50s and 60s. The Great Smog of Dec. 1952 is thought to be the worst air pollution event in UK history and led to several changes in practices and regulations, including the Clean Air Act 1956. Increased concerns about public health, air quality and pollution resulted in the eventual closure and decommissioning of Battersea Power Station.

Purify /ˈpjʊərɪfʌɪ/ verb: remove contaminants from.

Advent Word 2022, Day 21 ‘Majesty’ 威嚴

#AdventWord #Majesty #威嚴

‘Redwood forests. Hummingbird in flight. Keeping vigil at the bedside. The lion and the lamb. Snow-capped mountains. The path cleared. Queen Anne’s lace. The servant of the Lord. Pounding water on the shore. The blind see. The deaf hear. The path leveled. Hands are strengthened. A butterfly lighting. The crocus blooms. Water in the desert. The people singing. Knees are made firm. The hungry are fed. Justice for the oppressed. The proud are scattered. The lowly are lifted up. The farmer reaps. The prophet appears. The messenger is sent. The kin-dom of heaven. Majesty.’ (The Rev. Sharon Core)

‘Power’ by Morag Myerscough at the new Battersea Power Station redevelopment, Nine Elms, Battersea, London

‘A landmark installation for Battersea Power Station, that standouts from the surrounding urban architecture, a celebration of times gone by and to mark the beginning of a new era.’

Advent Word 2022, Day 20 ‘Traveler’ 旅人

#AdventWord #Traveler #旅人

‘People of faith are travelers, from trudging through deserts of antiquity to present-day pilgrims sauntering along the Camino de Santiago. I have taken youth to walk the Camino in Spain. It was my first international trip. I was excited about receiving a passport stamp. A passport full of stamps has long been proof of a well-lived life for travelers.

Each of us is a traveler according to God’s itinerary or our own. No matter what we choose, God places stamps upon our souls. What story do those stamps tell? What stamps will mark your soul this Advent and this new church year?’

Patrick Kangrga

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1

‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ Samuel Johnson

‘A person who is tired of London is not necessarily tired of life; it might be that he just can’t find a parking place.’ Paul Theroux

Advent Word 2022, Day 19 ‘Thirsty’ 口渴

#AdventWord #Thirsty #口渴

‘We tend, during Advent, to focus on the birth of this child, Jesus, who comes to change everything for everyone. But this word, thirsty, reminds me of the price Jesus paid for all of us. As he was hanging on the cross, he said, “I thirst.” I thirst. Water is essential to sustain life, and Jesus needed it. We also need it, as much as we need Jesus, the baby whose birth we await, the child who went to the temple, the man who preached, taught and died for us all. We, too, are thirsty.’ (Helen Spence)

”The Hop’ by Jyll Bradley at the Hayward Gallery is about time, memory and light & reimagines the cultural history of 20th century London. The Hop is inspired by the thousands of women and children who travelled from South London to Kent every year to bring in the hop harvest, used in brewing beer. Standing at 4m high, the installation echoes the geometric design of a Kentish hop garden.’

Advent Word 2022, Day 18 ‘Beloved’ 被愛的

#AdventWord #Beloved #被愛的

‘“Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7). It is challenging to practice patience in the best of times, and during Advent, it seems many in the church struggle to slow down and be. I feel guilty with my own impatience, and yet, as I read this passage from James, I find comfort: we are still God’s beloved. The scriptures this week remind us that the Messiah is coming. We are called to be faithful and wait and are promised all will be made new in God’s time for all of creation—for us—God’s beloved.’ (Erin Wolf)

Walkie-Talkie Building, City of London, ‘Our beloved city’…

Evening Standard, June 2020: ‘Our beloved city bounced back from the Plague and Blitz — it can do so again…’

Whytt Magazine, August 2021: ‘Where has London gone? The reality of our beloved city without tourists: as the dust begins to settle from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic….’

London, our beloved city….. “A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.”

Advent Word 2022, Day 17 ‘Stranger’ 陌生人

#AdventWord #Stranger #陌生人

‘Sometimes you pass a stranger and do a double take. There’s a knowing as you both stop, talk, look into each other’s eyes. You recognize the light in them and they the light in you. You are people of faith, perhaps extended family through Abraham and Sarah. You touch your heart, smile, and bow with hands in prayer position.

When I first saw an old Muslim man in Marrakech, I did not know that we would become friends. All week, he called out excitedly to me in Arabic. “He says he’s happy to see you,” someone translated.’

Deborah Gardner Walker

View through Tower Bridge towards The City and Tower of London

‘There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.’ (W. B. Yeats). It’s how you view the world that matters.

Advent Word 2022, Day 16 ‘Wilderness’ 曠野

#AdventWord #Wilderness #曠野

‘In a wild deer state. Not touched by civilization.

Wilderness is not yet remade in the image of man. Wilderness is alien to our hopes, fears, dreams, self-centeredness and self-righteousness, frustrations, catastrophes and successes. It is separate from our habits, preferences, love, anger, or despair. Taking care in what we carry, some of us go to the wilderness to “get away from it all,” some to revel in the beauty of creation and some to test themselves there.

From the wildness, from outside anything and everything about us, a voice calls to us, “Think again! Prepare for the Lord!”’

Rex Peterson

The Bank of England, Threadneedle St, London EC2

‘In the wilderness’: idiom mainly in British English meaning ‘no longer having influence, recognition, or publicity.’ (Collins English Dictionary)

The Bank of England says that the U.K. is facing its longest recession since records began in the 1920s, with the economic downturn expected to extend well into 2024. Britain is in its own wilderness. Brexit, war in Ukraine, higher energy prices and the pandemic have all contributed. This past weekend we had England out of the World Cup, and now strikes, travel delays ~ and snow.

We need hope this Advent more than ever, to hear again the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’.

Advent Word 2022, Day 15 ‘Messenger’ 使者

#AdventWord #Messenger #使者

‘We who have been baptized are God’s messengers, just like John the Baptist. Join me this Advent in examining your life and in committing to a daily apostleship. Let us allow God to use us as instruments. Moved by the Holy Spirit, let us proclaim daily, at the top of our lungs, that there is a God of Love. Let us open doors that are shut off by hatred or resentment. Let’s prepare people to open up, allowing love to enter their hearts.’ (The Rev. Carlos Holmes Rendón Agudelo)

Tower Bridge, London

‘Moved by the Holy Spirit, let us proclaim daily, at the top of our lungs, that there is a God of Love’ ~ thus we are called to build bridges rather than walls, connecting people and communities across borders, frontiers, dioceses, churches, parishes and cities.

Advent Word 2022, Day 14 ‘Flourish’ 興旺

#AdventWord #Flourish #興旺

‘A contemporary of mine presented a theological reflection with light at its core and as the source for the reflection’s interrogations. It was a powerful reflection that allowed multiple thoughts about light and interpretations of what light is to be explored. In Psalm 80, the psalmist’s third verse, “Restore us, O God; let your face shine that we may be saved”, ties back neatly to the first verse, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!’ We flourish in the light, sensing hope and promise, and restoration with eventual movement toward wholeness.’ (Mallard W. Benton)

View from Southbank to St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

‘Only in the darkness can you see the stars…. Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ (Martin Luther King)

Advent Word 2022, Day 13 ‘Fire’ 火

#AdventWord #Fire #火

‘A traditional Cherokee story recounts how water spider brought back fire to the People after other, larger, animals had failed. Fire kept the People alive. Important symbol across religions, fire is a primal necessity. My Cherokee teacher shared that when whites first saw Indians dancing around the fire, they assumed the “heathens” were worshipping the fire itself. Instead, they were worshipping Creator, who set the fire of the sun in the sky and the fire of love in our hearts. Advent offers time to rekindle the fire in our own hearts if it has dimmed due to cynicism or despair.’ (The Rev. Kim Becker, a poet and priest of Cherokee descent)

Southbank Winter Lights, London

Colours of fire transform the wet autumnal leaves