Advent And Archeologial Discoveries

Sales of my Advent Book 'Bethlehem's Road' ran out locally. So I thought I should read it myself!  These words leapt out at me: 'Most people did  not see Jesus' birth in a smelly stable because they were too snooty to look for it in such a place. They were in a groove. They had tunnel vision. Step back and look at life from a different perspective. Place a grain or a flower in your hand and slowly repeat: To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and Eternity in an hour...' <p>

I had thought that my 'A Holy Island Prayer Book' had also sold out. This week I found that this best seller, which is published in both USA and UK, is freely available, and now its also for sale in a Kindle edition. One of this book's Midday Reflections is at The Village Hall. Recently I led a retreat on Holy Island, when we had imaginary conversations with John the Beloved Disciple on Patmos Island. But on Wednesday evening retreatants voted to forego our Patmos conversation and converse with Holy Island's archeologists in the new village hall. We learned that the amazing recent discoveries revealed that early monastic buildings were more extensive than was previously thought, as they were also at Hartlepool where Saint Hilda developed a monastery. The discovery of a stone Saxon 'church' hit national headlines in the summer. This confused people, since the historian Bede wrote only of a wooden church.  But now the archeologists are calling this a chapel. It seems  many people not only pilgrimaged to Lindisfarne, they also stayed there, criss-crossing the island on pilgrimage trails with chapels. And the archeologists  made another discovery: the inscribed stones at Lindisfarne were the same style as those at Hartlepool. When we launched the dispersed Community of Aidan and Hilda we had no idea that the two monasteries of these founders were linked in this way.  <p>

This week our three UK guardians waited on God together on Holy Island. Then our  trustees, who care for our  island properties that serve today's  pilgrims , met for two days. They are all busy people who travel some distance to meet, and they do much work selflessly and without pay. We all met together at Carol's new house in Berwick for a meal and dedication of the house, which includes the dispersed community's office. <p>

The third week of  'Bethlehem's Road' is about preparing a home fit for Jesus. Need I say more?

Posted at 15:29pm on 2nd December 2017