God’s Eyes at Christmas

Dear People of Alnwick,

In his best-selling book ‘Prayers of Life’ the French Roman Catholic priest, Michel Quoist wrote:

I would like to rise very high, Lord,
Above my city
Above the world
Above time,
I would like to purify my glance and borrow your eyes.

What, I wonder, is God thinking at the moment as he looks down on his world and sees the way his children are abusing it and each other?

If the perpetrators of the recent carnage in Paris took a moment to look down on the world, which they are in the process of destroying, I wonder if they would see anything of the amazing beauty of creation or the huge potential there is for men and women everywhere to live in peace, in mutual respect and in harmony?

And if we, as individuals, could borrow God’s eyes and look down on his world for a brief period, what would we see?

All is fragile – very fragile – and respect for human life and dignity is at an incredibly low ebb.

But this world of ours has dealt with fragility before – when the Son of God was born a fragile little baby in a feeding-trough in Bethlehem. And that fragile little baby brought with him HOPE – the theme of Advent which leads us into rejoicing as we celebrate his presence with us at Christmas.

So we should look for signs of hope – however small – here in our church and in our town. Did you know, for instance, that nine full car loads of bedding and warm clothing have been transported down to Newcastle’s West End Refugee Service in the last few weeks? Did you know that in excess of £500 has recently been raised for Cancer Research by the children of Mini Michaels and our Church School – or that, just as this letter goes to press, over £300 has been raised from a Coffee Morning to help purchase Christmas presents for the children of parents who are currently in prison?

In simple but profound acts like these we show compassion and hope in the one who was born in poverty and who knew what it was to be a refugee.

During this Advent and Christmastime we may not be able to prevent massive acts of terrorism and suicide bombings taking place but, by single steps of love and compassion, we can ‘borrow God’s eyes’, recognise the fragility of God’s world and approach all we do with hope.

My prayer during those days – and I hope it may be yours too – is that we may ‘borrow God’s eyes’ and be filled with compassion and hope as we await and then celebrate Emmanuel – ‘God with us.’

I would like to rise very high, Lord,
Above my city
Above the world
Above time.
I would like to purify my glance and borrow your eyes.

With every blessing for Christmas and all that lies ahead in 2016.

Paul.

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