Tag Archives: fear

A Christmas Song by Wendy Cope

I am very grateful to my lovely friend who shared this poem with me – acknowledging that Christmas isn’t always the scene of bliss and contentment that we are led to believe, but can be a time of pain and fear

A Christmas Song

Why is the baby crying
On this, his special day,
When we have brought him lovely gifts
And laid them on the hay?

He’s crying for the people
Who greet this day with dread
Because somebody dear to them
Is far away or dead,

For all the men and women
Whose love affairs went wrong,
Who try their best at merriment
When Christmas comes along,

For separated parents
Whose turn it is to grieve
While children hang their stockings up
Elsewhere on Christmas Eve,

For everyone whose burden
Carried through the year,
Is heavier at Christmastime,
The season of good cheer.

That’s why the baby’s crying
There in the cattle stall:
He’s crying for those people.
He’s crying for them all.

Wendy Cope

 

Strange Things

Strange things are happening,
things we fear,
things that seem odd,
events we don’t understand.

What do we do?
Panic?
Worry?
Search the internet
for answers?
See what the newspapers say?

Or do we stand
as God’s people
and wait
for what he is going to do?

We pray,
as every day
for the Kingdom to come
and to be ready when it does
whenever that is.

2015-07-21 16.39.49

Luke 21:25-36 (CEV)

When the Son of Man Appears

25 Strange things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won’t know what to do. 26 People will be so frightened that they will faint because of what is happening to the world. Every power in the sky will be shaken.  27 Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with great power and glory. 28 When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.

A Lesson from a Fig Tree

29 Then Jesus told them a story:

When you see a fig tree or any other tree 30 putting out leaves, you know that summer will soon come. 31 So, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom will soon be here. 32 You can be sure that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all of this takes place. 33 The sky and the earth won’t last forever, but my words will.

A Warning

34 Don’t spend all of your time thinking about eating or drinking or worrying about life. If you do, the final day will suddenly catch you 35 like a trap. That day will surprise everyone on earth. 36 Watch out and keep praying that you can escape all that is going to happen and that the Son of Man will be pleased with you.

Herod #adventbookclub

 

Matthew 2:3-8 (CEV)

When King Herod heard about this, he was worried, and so was everyone else in Jerusalem. Herod brought together the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?”

They told him, “He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote,

’Bethlehem in the land
of Judea,
you are very important
among the towns of Judea.
From your town
will come a leader,
who will be like a shepherd
for my people Israel.’”

Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”

 

A threat to my power?  By someone who might actually know something?  A real king?  With God on his side?  Now I am worried.

I’ve always worried that I’d be found out.  That this precarious little kingdom I’ve built for myself would be brought down.  This cannot happen. I’ve got to get on to this – now, before it gets out of hand.  He will have to go.  I don’t care what pain or distress I cause – after all, the end will justify the means.

This passage always reminds me of this scene from The Lion King, where Scar is adamant the king will be killed – so that he can be king, rising entirely from his jealousy.

This King must go – Herod’s thoughts entirely!

When we feel frightened or threatened we can make some really stupid choices.  Sometimes those choices have huge repercussions – for ourselves and for those innocently caught up.

I try so hard,
to do the right thing,
for the best;
but sometimes
I am coming from the wrong place,
looking after me,
acting from fear,
not love.

Sometimes I get things spectacularly wrong,
even with the best of intentions,
and others get caught up
in the results of my decisions.

Forgive me Lord
my wrong decisions,
my stupid choices,
my misguided actions.

I pray for wisdom
and a clear sense of your way forward.

Help me to deal with my emotions,
so that I am not responding from the wrong place;
to live in confidence of you.

Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page