Tag Archives: Chaplains Blog

Advent Calendar – the slower path to Christmas

There's a lot of pressure on local churches to join the headlong dash to Christmas, and bypass the dark reflective journey of Advent, which, in many traditions, involves an immersion in thoughts and poetry written in and for times of crisis, or times when hope was at a premium. I'm thinking about following the Sunday lectionary through with images and thoughts from our 'green' perspective. A small initiative, and easy to follow... as well as gently reasserting our right, in this forthcoming season, not to be dictated to by Xmas cards or even some 'Christmas' films, how and what we should be considering.

“That’s the way it will be back home!” – Chaplain’s Blog

Matthew 13:51: 

Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of their treasure what is new and what is old.”

Some years ago, I was at an international church gathering where  we were challenged by daily bible studies on neglected parts of Scripture.

These particular ‘treasures’  immersed us in  stories of violence and barely believable  injustice.

We batted ideas around, but it was noticeable  that one of our number, from Burma/Myanmar was very quiet.

Eventually, we were all longing to hear what he might have to say.  When he did speak, he silenced us all. “That’s the way it is back home….”

As I’ve begun to get my teeth into Eco-Chaplaincy,  at this  time of high drama in the news, with a growing awareness of the  urgency of action, so too, I’m rummaging around in the treasure-box of Christian scripture and tradition.

What is coming to light, is both  how widely Christianity is equipped for catastrophic times…. and how universally that equipment  is ignored, disregarded, ridiculed, or completely misunderstood.  With Advent in sight, when lectionaries and other traditions entertain apocalyptic Bible readings, these previously quaint or ornamental texts of turmoil are beginning to assert their relevance, with language full or environmental and political upheaval.

When visiting congregations, I’ve been very open, both about the seriously grim prospects for climate change, as well as looking for ways to say, with eyes wide open, and with integrity ‘Halleluyah anyway’.  As a movement,  we are certainly a work in progress, but with great potential in shaping the witness of the churches in a time of threat without precedent.  Because, without action, “that’s the way it’s going to be back home” … for our common home, the Earth.

love & peace,
Rev’d David J.M.Coleman