Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

New Year.jpgWell?  Have you made yours yet?  Or made any?  New Year resolutions, that is.  That was the question that was put to me by Dave[1] last night.  Or early this morning to be accurate.

He cheerily told me that he once made a list , lost it, and months later found the list and discovered he’d met his resolutions.  Well done him.  But I can’t say I have made any.  No gym membership beckons.  No diet, yes the Christmas cake gets no reprieve.  No hair implants (not this year anyhow).

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millennial-christmas.jpgLet’s hear it for tat?  Millennials are buying non-traditional Christmas decorations this season – choosing to decorate their trees with unicorns and mermaids rather than tinsel, new research has found.[i]  The research found that 45% of the UK’s households will be overlooking Santa Claus and his reindeer in favour of more interesting decor.

Unicorns will also be nestled amidst tree branches leading up to Christmas as 24% of the 2,000 people surveyed said they plan to decorate with the mythical creatures.  Others from the younger generation have decided they will express their Christmas spirit through mermaid, dinosaur, and prosecco bottle ornaments.

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prison-christmas

As the prisoners come in, they wish me “Happy Christmas”.  Many of them anyway, and with cheery grins.  I was surprised.  They were glad to see us doing music for the Christmas Eve service.  Glad that there was something on for Christmas, glad to be glad-handed.

Trouble over Christmas period in prisons?  Perhaps in HMP Cardiff yesterday.  Not where I’ve been.  I’ve been inside twice this month, including Christmas Eve.  There was more natter than normal, and it had an “edge”.  Yet, no more than that.

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prayers-bannerI
Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined, for unto us a child is born, a son is given.”
We are in darkness here, oh God
miserable being here this Christmas.
Want to be home at this time.
We are not home. Yet…. we are not alone.

May we be the light that shined on:
.     mates on the Wings – encouragement
.          wife on the phone – a truly listening ear
.               kids in the Visitors Centre – sweet words.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
and ransom your captive people (more…)

How do we express God’s special expedition that is Christmas for a new babe (not a relative)generation? Something that captures the less-is-more to the point of complete self offering.  In a way that makes sense to the 21st century. Often we trot out the familiar words that are closer to James Stewart (“It’s a Wonderful Life”) or Charles Dickens (“A Christmas carol”), than the original vision.

This poem (below), used in Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols”, expresses the bizarre ironies of God-coming-in-might as a baby, in terms of a renaissance army with all it’s force. The poet made the contrasts so vivid, striking. Read on:

Poem: New Heaven, New War

This little babe, so few days old,
Is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
All hell doth at his presence quake.
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Christmas in prisonThe Christmas season service I led was probably the ‘flattest’ I’ve experienced in a while.  Bad service? No, the guys were quiet, sad.  “Christmas is probably the most challenging time of year in prison. A prison sentence is often calculated in “how many more Christmas’s to get through?” It’s the time when families should be together. The time for parents to watch children unwrapping presents. Almost every TV ad is a reminder of the season. Parents in prison feel guilty that they’re not at home, and grieve for what they are missing. For those prisoners who have been permanently separated from their children the pain runs deeper still. And for those with no family outside to care, the loneliness of Christmas can be bitter.” So says Rev Lesley Mason, Managing Chaplain, HMP Send.

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New Birth Notification

Posted: 26 December 2013 in Poems
Tags: ,
Girl gave birth to her fist child on 25th December lastblack nativity
She is in her late teens, DoB uncertain
Not from round here.
 
Girl recently married to a Jo Bendavid
Believed to be in his 40’s
Admits to not being father of the infant. 
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