Sunday, 28 December 2014

Snow globes of hope

Who doesn't love a snow globe? They have a magical quality to them that touches young and old. We start off with the still scene, give the globe a shake and hundreds of snowflakes bounce around. Then they gradually settle back down creating a new snowy carpeted scene. 

Our lives too have changing scenes. Well-being becomes a barometer altered by the shifting tides of failing health and healing. Relationships can grow or break down, blossom or fade, heralding emotional fluctuations. A family's dynamics shift when a member dies or leaves, for whatever reason. They also alter when there is a birth or a new person joins the family. People's roles or jobs in life can change bringing new senses of identity and have financial implications. Moving house, relocating, emigrating or working abroad bring with them altering parameters to familiar routines.

Like a snow globe we are caught in a maelstrom that requires our response. And for those of faith, our relationship with God can affect how we respond. We can bring God into the equation. We can be like the wise man who built his house on the rock. We can rebuild our lives using the roots of our faith as foundation stones. The rebuilding may be slow. It may only evolve one brick at a time. We may not even be able to envisage what the final build will look like. But, that is ok. We don’t need to know. We just need to trust that we will get there.

Then, when the snow eventually settles, we will find a new shape has been created. It won’t be the same as the one before. Life has changed. But, it will have the unspoken tenets of faith built in to it. Those building blocks of love, trust and peace enabling us to look to the future again with a sprinkling of hope.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Rainbow through the rain

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland

Our country is bracing itself for a severe storm today. There is word of road and rail disruptions, bridge closures and ferry cancellations. I feel for anyone working outside or caught up in the turbulent weather today and hope that they all keep safe. Hope is of course what we carry into all kinds of storms. The storms of life that can hit us all at various times: bereavement, illness, redundancy, family troubles, life changes.

Hope is what can carry us through the eye of the storm and back out to the other side. Hope that the sadness will ease, that we will feel better, that a job will be found, that the family will settle, that we can cope with the shifting rugs beneath our feet.

Hope is often symbolised by the rainbow. That spectrum of beauty and colour that emerges as the rain meets the sun. It appears just when we fear the storm will prevail and we will be overwhelmed. Its upward arch reminding us that we too can be lifted up and out of the turbulence. A spiritual symbol of God's relationship with us bringing with it the rays of hope of faith.

Whatever storms loom overhead for you today, may the glimmer of a rainbow carry you forward in hope.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Green heart of the snowdrop

Green heart of the snowdropKate McIlhagga

Into a dark world
a snow-drop comes.
a benison of hope and peace
carrying within it a green heart
a symbol of God's renewing love
Come and inhabit our darkness
Lord Jesus Christ,
for dark and light
are alike to you.
May natures white candles of hope
remind us of your birth
and light our journey
through life and beyond.