Category Archives: Faith

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

Advent Word 2022, Day 12 ‘Breathe’ 呼吸

#AdventWord #Breathe #呼吸

‘Breathe on us, O BREATH. At our beginning and our end, you are with us and within. In the beginning…the BREATH of God hovered above the waters…calling creation into being. From the dust of the ground, God formed the human and b-r-e-a-t-h-e-d… I will put my breath in you…and you will live. And it was so. Life is in the breath, the BREATH of God. Breathe on us. The dust returns to the earth that gave it, and the breath returns to God who breathed it. At our beginning and our end, you are with us and within. Breathe Your breath on us, O BREATH.’ (Kathy Culmer)

St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London

And breathe.

Advent Word 2022, Day 11 ‘Winnowing’ 簸選

#AdventWord #Winnowing #簸選

‘You’re a newly harvested grain of wheat. Suddenly you’re lofted, soaring into the air with your neighbors. For one hallowed moment, the wind holds you, then winnows you free of the tight shell that held you. You settle to the threshing floor, now a seed, ready to be winnowed again because a new husk, or maybe the old one, forms, even as you await your sowing. Emmanuel stands with his fork and his broom, sending you up again into the wind’s embrace, then sweeping away that chaff which bound you. Always ready and waiting, with love, for you.’ (Christine Havens)

Crucifix by Simon Robinson 1994, behind the altar at St. Mary le Bow Church, Cheapside, London EC2

The metal crucifix depicts the grave clothes that tightly bound the crucified body of Christ, the tight shell that held him until he broke the bonds of death. The grave clothes are empty, Christ is not there, he is risen. This Advent we look forward again to his coming in glory.

Advent Word 2022, Day 10 ‘Welcome’ 歡迎

#AdventWord #Welcome #歡迎

‘As we prepare our hearts and minds to welcome Christ in this season of Advent, we are called, in turn, to “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you.” The deep truth of Welcome is seeing the other, and Jesus modeled this way of seeing for us. He paid attention to what was going on around him, especially those people he encountered daily. Jesus saw the other with a heart of love, compassion, and forgiveness, and he invites us to do the same. Deep holy hospitality requires intentionality, and we bear witness to God’s grace when we seek to welcome the stranger, the “other” among us, with the eyes and heart of Jesus.’ (Mary Foster Parmer)

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant, Brixton Road, London is a great place to visit. ‘Injera with Tsebhi (Stew) is one of the main traditional foods in Eritrean cuisine. Injera, also called Taita, is leavened pancake made with sourdough of Taff flour, hence the tangy flavour. Tsebhi is mainly prepared with beef, chicken, mutton or vegetables. As well as Tsebhi, Eritrean cuisine comprises of a variety of vegetarian dishes. Eating involves tearing off pieces of injera and wrapping it around portions of tsebhi to form a helping – each helping is handled with the hand without the use of any cutlery.’

With so many asylum seekers and refugees from Eritrea arriving in the UK, we pray that they may find here a warm welcome, loving communities and kind-hearted people.