Musing on the past year:
Trials: For many 2020 has been tough: illness, physical challenges, mental ill-health – stress, depression. Challenges and changes to families, friendships, employment – and those institutions that we depend on – schools, hospitals, churches, pubs….
Travelling: We’ve travelled through the unknown; familiar landmarks have disappeared; we’ve lost the illusion of control on an untried road with many surprising and unpredictable turns. Many have travelled alone in fear.
Transformation: This year has changed us all – ‘For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer’. We’re not the people we were at the start of the year.
Last weekend the Seagull Theatre produced ‘Walking through a Lowestoft Wonderland’, a pantomime of nine scenes, each in a different location.
There were trials… we encountered the problems facing Santa’s stocking packers; the difficulties faced by his sleigh engineers; and Dame Cherie Bakewell had real challenges in her kitchen!
We travelled from scene to scene. Our journey included the Theatre, Kensington Gardens, the Scout Hut, the Ferini Art Gallery, the Parish Church… We had a map and instructions but we didn’t know what we would find at each location until we got there.
It was a transformational experience. The pantomime finished in Santa’s grotto; stockings had been packed successfully; the sleigh was mended; children all received chocolate selection boxes; we all looked back on an enjoyable afternoon.
Musing on the Christmas story….
There were trials: an unexpected pregnancy, an uncertain marriage, an unwelcome journey, an unplanned birth…
There was physical travelling – the journey to Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph also had an unpredictable personal journey; from single people to a married couple through circumstances that were outside their control.
These experiences must have transformed them. My hunch is that they will have come through with a deeper faith and hope – that their God would be with them, protecting them and providing for them in an unknown future.