December Monthly Letter

by Geoff Hall on December 24, 2010

Mentoring support for those involved in word, image or performance arts
December, 2010.  “Once in Royal David’s City!”
Dear Mentoring Group,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!  Well, here we are with another year almost complete.  I trust that God has been at work in our lives; challenging, comforting and enabling our talents.
This carol has stuck in my mind after watching the BBC’s ‘Nativity’ film, when Mary gives birth to Jesus!
Once in Royal David’s City
Stood a lowly cattle shed
where a mother laid her baby
in a manger for His bed.
Awh, I hear you sigh!  Because babies are beautiful and cuddly; amazing creatures who smell so wonderful and clean.  They attempt to focus on our faces and expressions, they try to touch our faces, probably to make sure that what they are seeing is real! They smile because they think we are funny, or is it just wind?
This is what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph many years ago; their little helpless babe, born in a terrible time of political oppression, tyranny and slavery.  How the light shined in the darkness of those times.  How the political despots of the day sought Him out, to kill this little bundle of hope, this beacon of light.  Herod sent out his guards to the region, to kill every child under a certain age, in the hope of killing this Messiah.  When we think of the power of such people, it is hard to see how Herod would have felt threatened by a baby!  However, this was the case and even though the light arrived in a small package, the darkness sought to snuff it out.  God intervenes and this small family heads off to Egypt for a season, to escape the tyranny of Herod.
This Light has told us that we are also light and in this age of oppression, tyranny and slavery, the darkness is still intolerant of it shining and seeks to snuff it out and thus deepen the darkness.
I really do believe that the arts are culturally formative and that they can bring light to the world.  This happens not automatically, because it’s creative, because it’s art.  It happens if we ourselves are light-bearers.
When I look at the frail and vulnerable way God brought the Light into the World, we should not be afraid of our own fragility.  When I look at the purity of that moment, a virgin birth, I’m reminded of those today who are kidnapped, tortured and raped because they are followers of the Way, bearers of the Light.  Women in Egypt suffer from this kind of treatment to force a conversion to Islam.  We move from purity to savagery, from love to hate!
When God brings salvation to the world, it is through humble means, it is by asking us to follow and be used, it is never against our will; violence will never bring light, it will only deepen the darkness, encourage hate.  God’s call always needs a response from the heart.
Pray for our sisters in Egypt, for their hearts to be won by love, to overcome the darkness with light.  Pray for artists everywhere to embody the Light so that their work will bring illumination to this present darkness.  The Light is still shining and will not be overcome, even if the packages are small and fragile.  Remember, the darkness is more frangible than the light!  Be Light!  Be strong!
Peace and Love to you all,
Geoffx

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