From the monthly archives:

December 2009

“Carol” by Rowan Williams

by Kim on December 28, 2009

Frost scratching at the door,
blood has spilled across the floor;
soldiers step down the hill,
weapons fixed for the kill.
Where is this? When?
Here. Again.
Lights cut across the floor,
blades of wind slam back the door;
pray the child stays still,
tighten at the sudden chill.
Where is this? When?
Here. Again.
Past the dismantled door:
dust and linen on the floor.
He [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 27, 2009

O astonishing grace,
That the reprobate race
Should be so reconciled!
What a wonder of wonders that God is a child!
[...]

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Goodbye old friend

by Richard on December 27, 2009

Bizet, my faithful companion of 16 years, has died. He has been the most wonderful dog: perpetually scruffy, always friendly, ever wilful. He was as mad as a mongoose, and always seemed to go deaf once he had his nose on a scent.
His breed standard calls for “a good voice, freely used”, and Bizet had [...]

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How do you wear yours?

by Richard on December 27, 2009

Another bit of insight from ASBO Jesus

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God the loser: a sermon for Christmas

by Richard on December 26, 2009

By Kim Fabricius
Okay, granted, God comes to fix the broken world. But how does he do it? To answer that question I would have to go on to talk about Good Friday and the crucifixion, and people will say, hey, it’s Christmas, we’re celebrating a birth, not commemorating a death, give the kids a break, [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 26, 2009

Another of Wesley’s nativity hymns.
Ye simple men of heart sincere,
Shepherds who watch your flocks by night,
Start not to see an angel near,
Nor tremble at [...]

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(Not) The Wicker Man

by Richard on December 26, 2009

Rhos on Sea
Posted via email from Richard Hall’s perfectly pointless blog

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 25, 2009

From Charles Wesley’s Hymns for the Nativity of Our Lord. Merry Christmas!
Away with our fears!
The Godhead appears
In Christ reconciled,
The Father of Mercies in [...]

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What do they spell, the fairy lights
draping the yard outside the cells?
A daily Christmas? Unwrapping the surprises
before dawn? Another day isn’t, for everyone,
something to take for granted. But by the time
the sun is up, what is there left
but sitting in the litter? The new Rolex
tells you tomorrow is already planned
(and not [...]

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Caergwrle Castle in snow & fog

by Richard on December 24, 2009

Posted via email from Richard Hall’s perfectly pointless blog

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Christmas with Kierkegaard: God’s Love

by Kim on December 24, 2009

“This is all I have known for certain, that God is love. Even if I have been mistaken about this or that point, God is nevertheless love. If I have made a mistake it will be plain enough; so I repent - and God is love. He is love - not he [...]

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Hey Jesus: a Christmas sketch

by Richard on December 23, 2009

Peter: Hey Jesus!
Jesus: Yes Peter?
P: What starsign are you?
J: Starsign? Oh right — I’m a Capricorn.I didn’t know you believed all that nonsense..
P: I don’t. It’s just a bit of fun.Let’s see what it says for you. Here we are. Capricorn. “You know that you have difficult decisions to face.The right thing will not be [...]

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Christmas message from Methodist President

by Richard on December 22, 2009

The President of the Methodist Conference has challenged people to look beyond the romanticism of the Christmas story in search of the reality.
Revd David Gamble Christmas said Christmas was actually much more about the real world than it was about a lovely story of far off places in far off times.
“It’s about a young unmarried [...]

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A snatched moment…

by Richard on December 21, 2009

Snatched, because the Christmas cards aren’t finished. I shouldn’t be blogging at a time like this.
I couldn’t not comment on the successful campaign to get Rage Against the Machine to the Christmas No 1 spot, though. This is being heralded as a success for “people against” the previously unstoppable media machine of Simon Cowell’s X [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 20, 2009

I’m planning a series of Charles Wesley’s hymn during the Christmas season, so I thought I’d give him a day off today. Instead, here’s one of my favourite carols for Advent & Christmas.
The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
“All hail,” said he, “thou lowly maiden Mary,
most highly favoured [...]

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“The Visitation” by Elizabeth Jennings

by Kim on December 19, 2009

She had not held her secret long enough
To covet it but wished it shared as though
Telling it would tame the terrifying moment
When she, most calm in her own afternoon,
Felt the intrepid angel, heard
His beating wings, his voice across her prayer.
This was the thing she needed to impart
The uncalm moment, the [...]

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Global warming debate

by Richard on December 18, 2009

George Monbiot claims victory over arch-’skeptic’ Ian Plimer.
But you can watch the debate and make your own mind up.
My money’s on Monbiot. But you knew that.

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Carol singers

by Richard on December 18, 2009

Here’s a bit of pre-Christmas silliness. If you’re feeling in need of a visit from carol singers, here are a couple of game souls who’ll have a go at a carol of your choice. Enjoy.

www.sundog.net/carolofthechins/flash/card.swf

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Dare we rejoice?

by Richard on December 17, 2009

Excellent reflection from Will Willimon

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Christmas advertising

by Richard on December 17, 2009

via The Guardian
A New Zealand church has sparked outrage by erecting a billboard depicting Mary and Joseph lying semi-nude beneath the sheets.
In an unorthodox take on the Christmas tale, the billboard depicts a forlorn Joseph and Mary looking to the sky with a caption which reads: “Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow.”
The [...]

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