Monday, 15 December 2008

Engage Advent Liturgy/Meditation

Here is a meditation we did tonight. Mark also did a great session on reading the Christmas story from the perspective of the oppressed. We all took on different characters to be as the story from Luke was read - A Guantanamo inmate, a trafficked woman, an asylum seeker, black slave, etc etc. It was amazing and we really benefited from the voices Robert Spooner and Tendero, a Zimbabwean asylum seeker (from ASSIST) - hey I would never have guessed in a million years the stuff Tendero brought to the story. Love it - different /global perspectives rock!

Anyway the med was partly, and totally gratefully, nicked from Iona and the phenomenal Cheryl Lawrie and a bit of me. Get it here and get the audio to play over the top here (thanks ubiquitous Sigur Ros and less so Ulrich Shnauss). Set off audio then launch slide show straight away to sync it.

So, if you were there tonight - what are you carrying with you from it? I'll kick off and please do join in sharing your reflections via the comments button below.

Look out for the next enagage F2F in Jan if you missed this one - muppet! :-)


DS said...

I am carrying -

Like what H said on slavery and it made me notice how my 'dislikes' re Xmas sounded like slavery ('must spend £XXX on presents' etc). It also made me notice the big time 2nd exodus stuff even in the Luke version we read. (find him wrapped and in manger (Moses echo? - doh never saw that one before!)

Also really noticed, from the perspective of the character i took on, the 'shame' narrative going on - or rather anti shame narrative. Mary = woman = shame, up the duff pre wedding = Shame, Beth = barren = shame, King born in stable and heralded by povo shepard’s = SHAME. Yet there is no shame at all, Shame is already being exposed for what it is - a means of exclusion to us = jack %$£* to God (maybe even a badge of honour). We are being liberated from shame from pre day one and he's only just getting started.

(Caution to self i am perhaps in my position as much shamer as shamed -i need to use my power carefully to unmask and heal shame not perpetrate it)

(oh just notices first point is tied to second! – shame of not matching up at Xmas = slavery – yikes! – remember Tendero saying how he liked to spend Xmas in the v poor Zim Villages as no one has any expectations and an old shirt received celebration to the heavens. Blessed are the poor in that way – I love:-(/hate my consumer chains. I would feel better to give something useful like a shirt – keep your eyes out for plans for a possible year of advent conspiring …..

How about you?

mark said...

Thank you, Schof, for your encouraging comments re my session - truth is I didn't lead it very well, but that didn't stop some good things coming out of it!

I too liked H's comment on Christmas as slavery. That is exactly what it is - slavery to expectations and commercialism. I'm pleased you didn't get the Moses echo before because I still don't get it - can you explain that one?

I also really enjoyed listening to Tendero & Robert's contributions. It was great to have an African voice.

For me, Christmas is about hope. Whenever a child is born there is that sense of anticipation, of new possibilities not yet realised. Its the same whenever something new arrives - Barack Obama starts his presidency - even when Blair began. But in the birth of Jesus the anticipation of unrealised hope reaches a climax in this single birth - it comes to represent the overthrow of the old way and the birth of a new one. It represents a turning of the tables and an in-breaking of God's kingdom into a dark and suffering world.

Most of these hopes are soon dashed on the rocks of reality almost the moment they are uttered. Think Blair after the Iraq war. No doubt such disappointment will attend Obama. What's more, I'm sure this same sense of disappointment accompanied Jesus too - where is this new kingdom? Where is the overthrow of the empire of death? And why does he die a shameful death before any of this is realised? Yet, these hopes were kept alive after his death (and still are) by that band of people called Christians. Today, still, those hopes that were articulated at his birth - the rich going away empty and the poor being fed - are being kept alive and being brought into reality... by us.

Let's not disappoint, but in some small way make the hopes of 2,000 years ago a reality today.