Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Present - Christmas Day

Here is the full set of images that has been used over the last few weeks for the Christmas Present project. As I reflect on the journey we have made there are a couple of observations I would like to make.

Trying to get all of the photos done without pre-arranging them was tough.  We only had to arrange two of the images, I won't say which ones... I'll let you try and work it out! It got me thinking that we sometimes try to organise faith to fit nice neat packages, it's this or that, or it can't be that or this.  Why is faith so difficult to tie down?

There was also the difficulty of trying to find venues to act as homes for the photos.  We manged to get three without much bother, but the fourth venue was a lot harder... it reminded me that sometimes there is still 'no room at the inn' for Jesus. I wonder how much Jesus is allowed into our lives? Are there people and places that his extraordinary story never has access to? 

I wonder which image you find the hardest to engage with?  Which is your favorite?

I hope that this Christmas Present project has challenged you. I pray that these images will endure in your heart over the days and weeks to come, and that through them you will see God at work in some strange and wonderful ways.  

Printing and production of the images by trendy-art
Photos by Kat Timmins 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas Present - Advent 4

This week as we approach Christmas we reflect on the Inn Keeper.  To help us reflect on it I have written a poem. Please feel free to share your thoughts. 

When I gaze on the world
The worries and woes
The wounded souls
Wondering where we went wrong
Walking the street
Where people pass by
Not a nod not a hi
Nor a how do you do?
When I gaze on the world
Are we really so worried
By what folks might say
Or what folks might see
When its ear phones in
And mobile on
as our heads are down.
When I gaze on the world
Were social was usual
Standing and chatting
To stranger and friend
Where gathering was fun
Where we weren’t so suspicious
Of stranger and friend.
Where welcome was normal
When there was time to chat, chew the fat.
When I gaze on a story
With its light and hope
Where the keeper of the inn
Was happy to help and happy to chat
There was nothing left
But something so earthy
That grounded the child
in the dirt of the earth.
When I gaze on the story
Does it ask a question
Something of welcome
Something of wonder
When I gaze on the story
When I gaze on the world
When the future looks bleak
And folks are so weak
Will we welcome the stranger
Will we bow to the poor
Will we stand with weathered
And withered of life
Not for us but for them
Will we lose our mobile
Will we ditch the head phones
Will we raise our head
And walk with a smile
Will hope be found in the way that we walk
In the way that we look
In the way that we stand
Will our faces welcome
So I wonder will Christmas be present?

Printing and production of the images by trendy-art
Photos by Kat Timmins 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas Present - Advent 3

This week we are reflecting on 'The Star' and once again I have created a spoken word track.  Before you listen to it though, you need to know a little about me. 

I left school with no qualifications and had very few prospects but I did get on to the YTS (youth training scheme) program. For those too young to know what that is, it was for school leavers to help them get into the world of work and I remember I got paid £27 a week in the first year and that went up to a massive £35 in the second year! Anyway as a result of this scheme I got into the gardening trade... so some of the references in the spoken word track are to do with that... So have a listen and see what you think, click here to hear it in a separate window. 

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Spoken word track engineered by Tom Roberts
Words - Rob Wylie 
Printing and production of the images by trendy-art
Photos by Kat Timmins   

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas Present - Advent 2


I’ve been working through this for a while now trying to understand the picture we have of a big issue seller in our ‘Christmas Present’ project and the advent story.
As a result of my pondering, I offer you these words to think about and reflect on...

Are prophets all around us? Or are they hidden in the corridors of power?  However we understand that I wonder how many prophets we miss as we go about our everyday lives? Is it the big issue seller? The Occupy campaigners? What about the homeless person sitting in the same old place... waiting? Maybe it’s the young people that go out in there droves on a weekend to ‘forget’ there problems for a few hours? What about through the many projects that help people make a better life for themselves? What about the politician or local councillor who works for their community?  

So maybe the prophets of our day are the people we least expect?

With this picture of the prophet there is also this idea of hoping... We often ask children at Christmas time ‘what are you hoping to get’? When we are older our hoping is for different things and they vary from person to person, but some of the concerns that seem to be on the world agenda at the moment about this question of hoping are - hope for a better future for the generations to come, hoping for things to change in the world’s economic climate, hoping for peace and stability in the world, hoping for employment, hoping that I still have a job in the morning.

It seems to me that the biblical Christmas story has aspects of hope for the future as well as hope for the here and now... we long for it to happen and we long for it to make a difference now, there is a bit of me that wants to ask the question... how can we be prophets... not just to speak into situations but also to make a difference to a situation by the things that we do?
So here are some questions to ponder about this weeks picture:-

Are there prophets all around us?

What are you hoping for?

In what way can you bring hope into situations that you are in? 

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments