Not a drop of Highly Flavoured Gravy in sight. I know, I know! I Should Know Better at my advanced age, yet who hasn’t been tempted to doctor the words of Gabriel’s Message just a tiny bit? Sung here (correctly of course!) by Winchester Cathedral Choir.
I love searching for contemporary images of biblical characters. There’s something about the challenges which modern depictions throw up for me that helps me look at, The Annunciation, for example, with fresh eyes. Sometimes, especially at this time of year , we need to move outside our comfort zones, in order to enter into the Christmas story and open ourselves to an encounter with God uncluttered by familiar preconceptions. (All those sweet little angels in white nightdresses!)
Melanie Jean Juneau has curated an eclectic collection of images from various modern artists on the theme of the Annunciation, with Gabriel in all his (?) scary glory. I’m particularly taken by the one where the archangel is reaching out to an astonished Mary through a TV screen.
Advent, as we know, is a time of hope and preparation and, waiting for God’s gifts. No – not the ones we scribble down on a note for Santa and send up the chimney; more an increasing awareness of our deep down desires: What do you want me to do for you?
Do we dare to hope… to ask?
What gifts might God have waiting for you this Advent and Christmas?