What do you think of when you hear the word 'gather'?

Yesterday I spilled a container of cashew nuts over other stuff in the kitchen.

It took a while to gather up what had been scattered. The nuts of course were powerless to get themselves back where they belonged. People on the other hand...(complete this sentence how you will.)

Christians regularly gather for worship, in the open air, in churches, homes and many places, including on-line. We belong in relationship with others and with God.

'Gather' is the Advent Word for today in the online global advent calendar that I am following.

You can follow Advent Word on Twitter @adventword or sign up at Advent Word to receive a daily email during advent with the image and very short meditation.

Today's image shows people gathered for worship.

The accompanying meditation from Advent Word gives a reason for such gathering:

"We gather together because when “two or three are gathered in my name, there am I (Jesus) among them.”
GATHER with others to see the Beloved One, the Christ and your neighbour.GATHER unto yourself the sorrows of this world. That will be an act of true joy."

The image I have chosen in response to the word 'gather' is that of a flock of sheep.

The image at the head and foot of this page shows the sheep walking close together, following their shepherd on a narrow way.

I chose it because one of my favourite Bible passages is the prophetic vision in Isaiah 40 of the comforting of God's people by a powerful God who strengthens the powerless and cares gently for the vulnerable. 

Here's a taster:

"He will feed his flock like a shepherd; 
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom, 
and gently lead the mother sheep."
Isaiah 40:11

If you have time:

  • meditate on the word 'gather' and see what words or images come
  • share your thoughts in a comment on this post