It was a perfect day for cross-country skiing. The snow was light and crisp. The cloudless sky made the snow glisten like diamonds. The mountains, with the mist rising from them, proudly stood guard over the valley through which we skied.
- Just as many were taking down their Christmas decorations and continuing to enjoy presents powered by the micro-chip, groups of people were gathering in orchards across the world to join in a ceremony and ritual whose roots can be traced back at least two thousand years.
- Christmas is a celebration of new life and new possibilities. At the heart of this celebration is the birth of a baby, Jesus Christ, born in a remote place that few would have heard of heard of, to an unmarried mother, Mary, that few would have known.
- ‘Let me write the hymns of the Church and I care not who writes the theology,’ wrote Dr. R.W.Dale, minister of Carrs Lane Congregational Church, Birmingham in the second half of the nineteenth century. Dales’ comment springs into my mind around Remembrance Sunday and Christmas when hymns and carols become hot topics of discussion.
- Just as an older generation remember where they were when they heard news of President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, so a younger generation remember where they were when they heard of Princess Diana’s accident and death in 1997.
- These have been heady days for democracy. Brexit has a popular mandate and will soon have a legal basis. President Trump won the necessary number of votes in the electoral college.
- In recent weeks the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis were celebrating in Rome a relationship that was initiated by their predecessors 50 years ago and in Lund, Sweden, Lutherans and Roman Catholics (again with Pope Francis present) expressed a yearning for unity in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation due to begin in 2017.
- The die is cast. The United Kingdom will be negotiating its way out of the EU – though, with Scotland contemplating another devolution referendum, the ‘Kingdom’ may not be ‘United’ for much longer.