...followed by the Advent Course at Precious Blood Church, London Bridge. We pondered the message of various images of the Annunciation - an early one from the East, a glorious one by Fra Angelico, a more modern pre-Raphaelite one. Lots to think about...in Fra Angelico's picture, the sacred space between the Angel and the Virgin, the latter's hands clasped in prayer...in the pre-Raphaelite one, the flames of fire around the Angel's feet...
At Evensong, one of the Scripture readings was the story of Ruth amid the corn...later, we got talking about it...the significance of Christ's genealogy, that reference to Bethlehem...we decided to ask for a specific session on that at some stage.
People say "Christmas is for children", but in my experience it all gets much, much, more important and thrilling and exciting as you get older. The mystery of the Incarnation is so enormous.
As a child, I simply found Advent to be a time of gosh-we-are-one-day-nearer-Christmas, with my mind fixed on gifts under the Tree, and delicious smells in the kitchen. I loved making paper chains and singing carols and putting up the Crib, and of course had one of those Blue Peter Advent Wreaths made of old coat-hangers...(remember? Oh...Mondays and Thursdays, and that familiar signature tune...) But with adulthood came the dawning realisation of the fullness of what we were all celebrating, and every year the wonder of it grows.