“Yet in the dark street…
…shineth the everlasting light” we sang – about 10 of us, mainly from Anniesland Church of Scotland, with a couple of Methodists thrown in, and, on the word “light”, with excellent timing, the Council switched on the lights decorating the huge Christmas tree in the centre of the community. Passengers in a couple of passing cars wound down their windows and cheered us on (at least, we hope they cheered us on) and it felt good to be there.
It also felt like an illustration – a picture of our little Christian remnant, doing our best to bear witness to the light that shines in the middle of a busy community which is glad of the light, glad of the cheer, glad of the warmth, but is really too busy with other things to stop and join in.
It’s been a good day, heralded by a wonderful evening last night at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow where the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus brilliantly performed “Verdi’s Requiem”. What a powerful and moving work, what depths, what heights, what trembling, what jubilation…
With the notes of the amazing soloists, choir and players still ringing in my ears, this morning I preached on Harmony and Hope at Anniesland, the annual gift service when the tiny congregation demonstrates incredible generosity in bringing bags and bags of goods for the local Food Bank.
From there to Woodlands, where Andrew had been preaching (and had been delighted to have our most faithful blog-commentators, Jim & Olive, in the congregation!) for soup followed by a circuit service at 2pm. This experimental timing seemed to work well – it was a good crowd from across the widely-spread circuit marking this second Sunday of Advent by “Walking towards Peace”. And so from there to the tree-lighting back in Anniesland.
Although I try to be “strict” and wait until much closer to Christmas before putting up any decorations, I do love the lights, and find excuses to keep adding a string here or there throughout Advent as the journey progresses and the expectation builds (NB the photo is of George Square, Glasgow, though, not our manse!)
At the end of this day I have a candle burning on my desk as well, remembering so many of the shining stars whom I have known and loved, but see no longer. May they rest in peace and rise in a glory which far surpasses even the brightest and best of the Christmas lights! Jill