... in vestiges of Christmas

Published on 25 Jan 2021
A print of a painting of Mary by Andrew White hanging on the external wall of Farm Street Church

I was passing through central London and I noticed that the picture Mary on the side of the church at Farm Street, which the Jesuits placed there for Advent, was still there. 

I am aware that St John the Evangelist in East Dulwich also still has a Christmas tree outside fully resplendent in lights.

I know that there are also Christmas decorations up in shops that have not been open since mid December, but this was different, this was very different.

Both made me reflect on why they are still there, Christmas is past.  But both of these symbols communicate hope to me, and isn't Christmas all about that, hope.  Hope that life is coming into the world to grow and bring fullness of life to humanity.  I saw this in both symbols, clearly, as we as a world continue to endure this dark night that goes on and on.  There is hope, light and life is coming.

The picture of Mary is particularly evocative as it also makes me think of that feeling of waiting, something any expectant mother must feel during those long nine months of pregnancy, and the anticipation of the new life to come must be very life-giving during what must be a very weary time.

So I found God in these symbols because I found hope and solace in the fact that during this long time of waiting, that feels life forever, that there is hope, that life will come and that it will flourish.