Today, we have the story of one of the Magi, a man who had planned journeys for many others based upon the stars, but (according to this interpretation), this was the first time he’d felt the need to follow a star himself (a chance to ‘awaken the dream inside’).
Better to keep looking upwards, to chase after dreams and stumble, than only ever see the few steps in front of you and spend a lifetime going round in circles, getting nowhere fast.
He talks of the experience of travelling strange lands, meeting Herod (a mistake where they took their eyes from the stars, and focused upon maps), a man who “only wanted to hear what he needed in order to subvert and control”. As he met with the other wise men along the journey, he gives a sense of how, although they had faith in what they followed, they didn’t have certainty as to what they would find, describing them as ‘wise men behaving like fools’. What they found, a babe in a manger, was not what they expected from a King … but was “better” than what they expected
We were part of a drama so much bigger than ourselves; something we would probably never understand properly. We simply had to carry on faithfully playing our part.
As he questioned what ‘true wisdom’ was, he
… wondered if true wisdom might be this: to know what matters, and to rest secure in the peaceful affirmations of loving and of being loved.
Having met Jesus “the whole direction of our lives was changed”. As they left, rather than an ending, Casper felt that this was the beginning of something new.
#Advent20: Day 8
Advent is a time of waiting. Brian asks us what is the difference between waiting and wishing. If we wish that we could ‘magically escape’ our current situations, we may miss the opportunity to be present in the present moment. We typically dream of a ‘make-believe future where everything is all right’, or rosily remember a time in the past when all things were good… and then forget what’s good about here and now.
If we are ‘wishing’ for something, can we think about how we could turn that into something more hopeful (and active).
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; for my hope comes from him”
#Advent20: Day 9
Again, on the theme of waiting – how can we be thankful that God is more patient than we are, and think how long he waits for us, and for so many aspects of his creation:
‘Our impatient age,’ says Bonhoeffer, ‘wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting – that is, of hopefully doing without – will never experience the full blessing of fulfilment.
‘For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not here in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing and becoming.’
Practically, we are encouraged to think those times where we are impatient (in queues), etc and seek a way to turn that time into something hopeful, restful and/or productive.
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.