In the midst of our dark world: Yes, we live in a busy, busy world, which has encouraged us to expect that much can be resolved in an instant:
- “It’s someone else’s fault – they need to fix it for me”
- “I’ll win the lottery and then everything will be OK”
- “I’ll have my stomach stapled, then I’ll be skinny & everything will be great”
- “God needs to sort this all out – I need a miracle”
Through my last 3+ years of counselling, I have slowly come to a realisation that often the miracle that God gives us is the daily miracle – for some days this may be the ability to get out of bed, on others it may be something more spectacular. As Nouwen says “When I have no eyes for the small signs of God’s presence… I will always remain tempted to despair.” God didn’t come to earth with a ‘big bang’, but sent a small child to be born in a manger, who died naked on a cross…
(Nouwen’s thoughts from Gracias! A Latin American Journal)
Prayer: God cares about the small things in our lives: Philippians 4:6 challenges us:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ”
We should also be thankful for the small things. Amongst the loud commercialism of Christmas, we need to remember the promises that God gave us, and the hopes of his coming.
This is something that I spent Saturday morning listening to Rich Wyld talk about – see Storify of his talk.
Advent Action: Note ‘with thanksgiving’ – we are to look for ‘one small sign that God is present in my daily life’. I like to see God on my daily walks, and as I’ve written this 3rd December – here’s something that lifted me out of quite a dark weekend – the sight of Durham Cathedral in the snow (whilst I was wrapped up warm – I was incredibly thankful for warm boots/coat & hat – making me think of places such as Winchester Churches Nightshelter & the Trussell Trust who are both particularly busy at this time of year)
So now I’m going off to read Pam’s “Day 1” reflection.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.