Showing posts from December, 2015

Come Emmanuel - God with us


Winter Solstice: Light is coming into darkness

Today the winter solstice happened.
(Summer Solstice in Southern Hemisphere.) It was at 04. 49 Greenwich Mean Time, so I'm told. That was when the North Pole was tilted furthest from the sun, giving those of us who live in the northern hemisphere the longest night of darkness and the shortest day of light hours. I had to look this up as usually in the UK the shortest day is 21 December. I spent yesterday thinking it was the shortest day but it wasn't. It's today, as it often is here. The winter solstice varies between the 20th - 23rd December. A 20th December solstice is rare. The next one is due in 2080. The last 23 December solstice was 1903 and the next is due in 2303. I won't be around to see those!
I looked for the winter solstice sunrise this morning.
It was just after 08.00 but there was no sun to be seen for the clouds. I have to take the sunrise on trust. It is light now, but rather gloomy light. I'm one of those people who longs for the light in the winter a…

Prepare the way of the Lord

What was it like 2000 years ago trying to build smooth roads and straight paths through rough wilderness ground? Hard enough to maintain local paths, but if you were a Roman Emperor needing good roads to keep an empire under control, then every obstacle in the way had to be dealt with.

The Palestine province of the Roman empire had some rocky hilly places where roads were needed for armies on the march and for traders to travel. A lot of shovels and a lot of hard work by thousands was required to maintain the ancient routes and build new ones. How many slaves or forced labourers died in the process I wonder?

When roads are built now, there's a lot of work, but bulldozers and huge earth moving machinery can make a big impression in short time.

On the 2nd Sunday of Advent the church prepares for the coming of Christ by remembering the message of John the Baptist. I think he was a bit of a human bulldozer. By that I mean that he made an unforgettable impression in a short time, not beca…

On the need to be seen to be doing something

There's a fine line between doing something because you believe it to be a good thing to do and doing something because of the need to be seen to be doing something. It is easy to decide to do something because your friends are doing it and you do not to want to be left out. It is easy to be pressurised into a particular action because not to act in that way can make you seem weak, uncaring, naive or a traitor to the group.

The propaganda used on both sides for recruitment into the military during the 1st World War relied heavily on the need of potential recruits to be seen to be doing their bit and avoid the stigma of being called cowardly or unpatriotic.

I am wondering how the need to be seen to be doing something may influence decisions made today in 2 particular areas:

Climate ChangeSyria
1. Climate Change
There was an impressive turnout of world leaders at the opening of the Climate Change conference in Paris at the start of this week. Given the global importance of climate change…