Story

Quiet Excitement

Four Sundays in Advent. A different pice of art each week presented by a different person in a different way.

200 sets of beautiful coloured postcards, 1 for each week.The art reproduced along with appropriate biblical text, reflection and ritual activity. All packaged in a cd case so you can sit it up on your office desk or give one away to someone outside the church. People wanted more of them than we could supply. An email today from a woman in another country who somehow got hold of a set…

“Amidst all the bustle and chaos, I’ve kept before me those images from the advent in art series, and occasionally the power of those still, powerful images has made me gasp at the magnitude of what happened when a vulnerable young girl gave birth to a baby…”

Another woman who hasn’t been near a church for a decade bought 2 copies to give to non Christian friends.

Last Sunday I built my 7th large pond on the carpeted floor of Cityside in order to create an environment in which spiritual seekers might better interact with the Christmas story and encounter the God who put it together (the story not the pond). As people lay around on the floor, listened to the story read in long chunks, tossed pebbles into the pond and reflected on the ripples that ran out from them and the implications of the ripples running down through time from the Christmas event, and as they floated candles out on the pond as symbols of their prayers for themselves and others to encounter the ripples of God’s activity in their lives this Christmas, an as I lay around listening to tracks from the latest Blind Boys of Alabama album of Christmas songs and watching this happening…it was bloody fantastic.

Comments from punters suggest another life changing experience of a deepening relationship with the Christ of The Story. Can’t do better than that. And for the first time in 7 ponds, NO water on the carpet after! No cleaning bill! So I probably won’t do it again as the challenge has now gone out of it.

Tonight ‘Christmas in the Dark’. Chilled out ambient. A few carols, a few readings, a focus on Jesus-being-called-the-light-of-the- world-when-the-world-is-still-pretty-dark so what the hell is going on here? 200 glow-sticks, 1 to break and hang on arty sculptured ponga trees (NZ icon), 1 to take home and break on New Years eve as a symbol of your desire to be more Christ-light-like in the coming year.

Have a great Christmas…

Mark Pierson is minister at Cityside Baptist Church, Auckland New Zealand, home to ‘Parallel Universe’. He is also co-author with Mike Riddell and Cathy Kirkpatrick of the SPCK book & CD-Rom, ‘The Prodigal Project’.