Outlook 16
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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A Meditation for Christmas
A Meditation for Christmas Look inside … Did you read the story of the young woman who lost her wedding ring in a field – and found it again after forty years? And did that ring bells for you? All those missing keys, cards, letters, purses, that have thrown us into a panic – and the moment of euphoria when we found them again? And it’s not just objects, is it? How about losing your way – in a forest, big city, even inside a building? Or the much more dreadful moment of losing a child in a crowd, a dog on the heath, a loved person gone missing, as we know all too well from the pictures we see posted up? Among such posters I once saw a card that read, ‘If you see God anywhere, tell him I’m looking for him.’ A bad joke? Or was it actually quite serious? You don’t have to be in a forest to feel lost or to be searching for some answers in your life. But where on earth do you start searching for God? – because it can only be here on earth. As the great astronomer, Galileo, told his friends, they could no longer worship a God ‘up there, in the sky’, because the universe just wasn’t like that. ‘Where then is God?’ they asked. To which he is said to have replied, ‘In us or nowhere.’ I suppose we didn’t really need Galileo to tell us that. Long before his time a saint wrote that he had sought God everywhere, only to discover that He was in his own life and heart. He was ‘within.’ So the search ends where it began, in ourselves and one another. But how do we recognise God there? Well, if this creative force that we call God is within and around us, we surely find it in all moments where something creative, something positive, is happening – that is where someone cares, forgives, want to help, to understand, gives us peace, makes us smile. And if that’s all a bit surprising, we should know from the Christmas story, the very simple and ordinary story of a birth, that God is found in the unexpected, right here, in our lives, under our nose. Like that gold ring – trampled over, ploughed in, but shining and uncorrupted until it is found. Jill Hawes