The Christ-Child Takes Centre-Stage

‘Come with a healthy imagination’, was Major Iona Rainer’s request as she made the invitation to Bromley’s weekly bible study that was to become a meditation to ponder the advent theme: ‘The Word Became Flesh’.  

In the centre of the assembled group was a manger with a bed of straw bearing a life-size doll as the new-born child.  There were extracts from scripture; the fourth Salvation Army doctrine was quoted: ‘ ... he is truly and properly God, and truly and properly man.'

Three poems illustrated the theme: God Made Vulnerable, (Peter Cooke), The Oxen (Thomas Hardy), Kenosis (Luci Shaw)

Interspersed were the major’s comments, among them:

'At the heart of the Christmas story is an act of childbirth, without it there would be no story, there is no other way into the world. The Word becomes flesh and blood, with skin on! Advent is a time to ponder, to listen with the ear of the heart ......We are celebrating a great mystery, God born as a human being, lying in a manger, small, vulnerable and dressing Himself in the frail clothing of humanity - flesh. ..... Every birth has, in it, risk, God took that risk.'

The meditation came to a climax with the Hallelujah Chorus, Maureen Gettens at the piano, followed by an extract from the Apostles' Creed: He will come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will know no end.

After a break for the Christmas season, the weekly Bible Study reconvenes on 10 January continuing in participatory style. Whilst Salvation Army-based, it is an ecumenical 'community of bible-readers', with a number attending from other churches. 

December 2017