Shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem, are you listening? There are angel voices in the air, announcing the Coming. They were listening, they did hear, they responded to the song of the angels and they caught sight of Immanuel. They received the joy and gladness.
There is so much noise . . . traffic, tills, talking . . . I wonder if I will hear the angels in these last few days before the celebration. I am trying to listen – in the early mornings and when I lie awake in bed at night. I am trying to listen when the darkness of grief and perplexity tries to overwhelm me. Is there a message of hope for us in these days? Is there an invitation to us to travel in our hearts and know Immanuel?
Can they hear any angels in Aleppo? In Port au Prince? In Libya? In the refugee camps?
Can those who are trying to push back the darkness of depression hear the angels singing?
Yesterday we were visited by two folk from America – who we met in a group on Iona in May. They stayed for lunch. They listened. There was a quality to the conversation which allowed me – just perhaps for a few moments – to hear the angels singing. They were listening and they were sharing – and a window of joy was opened to us.
We laughed together as we took photographs – trying perhaps to hold on to this precious moment. I did not want to let go. The angels were singing in Glasgow yesterday afternoon – and we heard them!
As I think of family and friends this morning, feeling connected as cards are read, I pray that we might listen to each other again this year – and so catch those angels again. As I encounter strangers today, perhaps, if I listen carefully, I will hear those angels again.
Perhaps one day I will go to North Carolina to Gary and Heidi – and the friendship started among the advent lights will continue. Or perhaps it was just one of those special afternoons – to give us courage to travel on. Peace and love. Andrew