An Advent Meditation

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Light embracing the dark.
No longer to be heeded in the light.
Two opposites bound in our human form.
Freed by the one who is more than human;
who is light.

Together the stones of cares
That so easily topple from each other.
Held, in a moment, in perfect balance
in the one place and time.
Sustained by the one who balances life
In all its fullness.

Barbara and I attended the Advent Spiral at Wymondham Abbey and later one evening, the candlelit meditation on non-dual living.  I wrote the above poem directly in response to the meditation given to us by Revd Catherine Relf-Pennington at the Abbey.  It connected with a lot of the things I have been learning through faith and my reader training over the past few years: the importance of embracing the darker parts of our lives together with the light given to us by God’s Spirit, through Jesus. The balance needed to ensure we never split into the kind of false duality where we live two distinct lives, one becoming evil and the other with the pretence of goodness. We all have a dark side and rather than being afraid of that darkness we bring it into the light and learn to accept and embrace what we could be alone in that darkness alongside what we can be here in the light of Christ.

As an aside, In her book “Learning to Walk in the Dark” Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us that in Genesis “God created light, darkness was already there.”  In the book she encourages us to “embraces dark angels.”

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.” So says Isaiah in 9:2 (NRSV) and the meditation was a reminder of how far we travel, what has been left behind, what tags along within us to make us stumble and fall, and what the pathway of light reveals of a saviour born, both human, but of the purest light without any darkness within, a divine creator.

We were invited to walk the spiral and balance stones. It reminded me of what can be achieved by patience persistence on our lives from our holiday in Portugal.  On the foreshore at Lisbon patient artists balance rocks in incredible towers like the ones in this photograph.

The Centering Prayer is part of this kind of meditation and towards the end of my reader training we were reminded by Bishop Libby of perhaps the most famous one of these:  the Jesus Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.