The other day we were at a christingle service, and as I looked around the room and saw little hands holding onto oranges and candles flickering in the dark, I had a thought between my chattering away to a friend (because I struggle with keeping silent for any length of time) ‘Is this what sacred looks like?’
Is the mixture of fragile reality and the certainty of faith what makes something sacred? I feel like I am looking for the sacred in this season, and I am sure it is all around me but I can’t seem to see it.
Sacred; holy, blessed, consecrated, dedicated.
Last night Mike and I were watching ‘Nativity’ (yep fully embracing festivities in this house) and I found myself crying at the last scene. I always cry at the film…the children, the love story and just the best songs. But the last scene when the electrics are meant to have gone and they doing the scene by candlelight (but is actually still lit by spotlights) and they are singing ‘one night one moment’. The opening lyrics are these:
‘Sometimes life is not all it can be,
And here we are,
Wondering just how far this road may lead,
And here we are
And from the Darkness shines a bright burning star,
And who we are is changing within our hearts
one moment and everything’s changed
(one night, one moment)
One night one moment,
And everything’s changed’
Now to my tired ears this sounded ridiculously profound, at one point I actually thought here is a deep theological truth about connection with God amongst all the stuff. Disclaimer: I was tired, I had drank some wine…
It turns out the song is actually about being with your mates;
‘Cuz we are all standing together,
Sure important, but not necessarily profound.
Anyway Mike and I got into a conversation about how Nativity is an emotional film, although he doesn’t cry at it-he never cries at films, because of the Headteachers speech at the beginning of the play. In this speech she talks about how far she has fallen from her hopes and dreams for the school-and that is hard to hear. That she once believed she was going to change things and yet 17 years has past and she feels like she hasn’t. It is like the scene in ‘UP’ where you find out the couple never got to go on the adventure they had planned.
I think we can all relate to that fear that we won’t achieve what we set out to do.
But maybe it is that fear and vulnerability that shows us what is sacred?
Maybe sacred is trying, maybe it is taking the risk, the stepping out and the letting go, the waiting, the pause before something comes to fruition, the hope for something more, the faith that things can change?
Is that what the nativity story is about…
Who knows…but there is something in that line; ‘Sometimes life is not all it can be, And here we are’
SECOND (& THIRD AND FORTH) DISCLAIMER: I am fully aware that I am no theologian, and that my references are fictional films (Which are wonderful but still fictional). These blogs are just me processing my thoughts. Mike is not devoid of any emotion, he just can’t cry at films (but why not, especially Nativity, and Grave of the Fireflies and Life is Beautiful-these are very cry worthy films?) He is an enigma to me