I invite you to walk with me through the Christchurch inner city, noticing and wondering as Christmas comes closer. The Church has used the 4 weeks of Advent as a reflection time as we wait for the Christmas Day events. Whether you are “religious” or not, this can be a time to deliberately slow down amid the invitations to get ultra busy. I will offer 4 reflections over this Advent time.
ADVENT IN THE CITY 2017
Places to CROSS.
Christchurch is a city of bridges. By my count our inner city has 22 bridges over the Avon River between Harper Ave and Fitzgerald Ave.
Some are pedestrian, some are traffic. Some are in quiet places like the Botanical Gardens, others are on our main routes through the city like Durham St. The river winds along its way, and we must cross it, again and again. Often we do that without thinking. The river becomes invisible to us. The crossing place is simply a hardly noticed feature on our way to someplace else.
Pedestrian crossings allow us to pass to the other side of the street safely. Again we tend to ignore them. White lines on a road, or little green figures on a beeping light. We are going somewhere else. Over there.
On any day, how many crossings do you make? How many do you not really notice. Try counting them one day. Take notice of the mundane in your day.
Not all our daily crossings are outdoors. Some are across rooms, or offices. No crossing we make is accidental. We have a purpose, however unconscious. Sometimes we cross in our minds too. A new thought, a new insight, can give rise to a new direction in our thinking and in our lives. The crossing of a street or a river can be a symbolic beginning of a new way. It is good to sometimes pause on a bridge and look into the river. There are trout, eels, feeding ducks, swallows, plant life and flowering weeds. (I don’t recommend stopping half way across a street though!) Sometimes we are so busy getting somewhere else that we notice very little of the journey.
Advent is a time to ponder, and to notice some ways we are in the world. Crossing from one place to another – take time to ponder the details of the journey. Why are we making any particular crossing journey?
“Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah.”