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Who needs Angels?

AngelsHappyChristmasJEAP888Who needs Angels eh?   Happy daze, chin chin, ding dong merrily; did you see thingy on the telly; Happy Christmas and a merry New Year! Ain’t milk brillyunt; God, I’ll never be able to eat all that Toblerone; let it snow, let it snow; where did I put the Jameson’s? Chris Tingle. If it doesn’t fit you’ll have to send it back; nuts! Last Christmas I gave you my heart; did you buy crackers?  Well, the kids enjoyed it… 

Perhaps we all might benefit from remembering ‘angels’ after the show…

Last Christmas I pondered ‘angels’…then the angel departed’ *.

When the angels depart; after the expected bright lights, illusions, melodies and stories; I hope we can cling on to some form of new hope and promise that might be found somewhere amongst the salty riches and cloying delicacies that accompany the obligatory celebrations.

We’ve all experienced after-show emptiness, and the New Year will no doubt promise plenty that might smother any voids that appear.

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Back to angels…

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” says Saint Augustine.

Thank god for angels.

Those who have kids will know that the little imps also have beautiful heart-rending angelic moments. We all know that we can learn a lot by being reminded about humility, honesty, and those childlike tendencies that all too early can get smothered, blurred and forgotten in the race towards grown-up-ness.

I could also name a good selection of ‘friends’ that constantly radiate angelic attitudes, and then there are the strangers that we pass who briefly lighten the load with a kind word, a smile, a helping hand or some timely advice or support.

There are angels in our world and I suggest we all can benefit by simply acknowledging them if not embracing them.

We can also benefit from trying to learn from their virtuous, generous, respectful attitudes.

Popular culture fuels bling, pride, selfish discrimination and shallow sensationalism, but if we can get past the indigestion and dis-ease that this creates, a dose of angelic humility and praise might be just the tonic.

Thank god for angels.

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*Coincidentally at the same time, Caracticus Potts suggested one has to see things as they really are; one “has to learn to put those dreams to some practical use, not just sit around and think about them all the time.

‘Tis the season!

 

 

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And when the angels leave…

Then the angel departed
Before Christmas I was asked to read a short reading at the local church as part of their annual Carol Service. Not something I have done often recently, unlike my earlier days when reading in church was commonplace. I was initially quite underwhelmed by the fantastical reading I was given; from Luke 1:26-38 ‘The Birth of Jesus Foretold’ “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent…‘Do not be afraid, …you have found favour with God. …the power of the Most High will overshadow you… For nothing will be impossible with God… ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed.”

The hills are alive
As a treat this Christmas we took the kids to see ‘The Sound of Music’ at Leicester Curve. A remarkable show! It’s a refreshing re-presentation of something we all think we know well. But I recommend that you review presumptions and supposed familiarity.
For me the unexpected resonance came in the pull between religious peace and worldly distress, and indeed religious distress and worldly peace.
Coincidentally the backdrop to several abbey related scenes was a powerful ~20 foot square representation of the fantastical Annunciation, by Botticelli. On the painting’s original frame is’s written in Latin “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” Coincidentally from the reading above.

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Hope in a story
During holidays (once holy) we might encounter so many other tales and stories of truth winning over doubt, hope overcoming loss, the innocence of a child’s view washing worry and prejudice aside. I’ve just sat teary eyed through The Railway Children, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and we’ve still got Watership Down, E.T. and Babe still to watch.
In our annunciative occasions above, both Mary and Maria are given situations in which they find glorious beauty amongst tiresome disease.

But after the show
If you’re privileged as we are to have ‘time off’ over Christmas; If you’re privileged as we are to have the warmth of a Christmassy sunday sofa, snuggled children, cold meats, cheese and a sneaky dandelion n burdock; we come out of a dark month of advent, a time of pregnant anticipation and we’re dazzled by lights, reflections, impressions, illusions, projections, melody and chorus. The nourishment we find at this time of year is swamped in salty riches and cloying delicacies that might cause indegestion and even dis-ease. The obligatory celebrations that accompany the turn of the year are yet to come…

But as Maria, Mary and Caracticus Potts came to realise, when the angel departs, one has to see things as they really are, after all one “has to learn to put those dreams to some practical use, not just sit around and think about them all the time.”?

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