The Rise Of The Guardians And Of Church Roofs

I have just seen 'The Rise of the Guardians', a wonderful film for children of all ages. Pitch is the dark force who is so fear-filled that he wants to fill every child on earth with fear so they need him.  Four guardians of the children  - Santa Claus, the straight-speaking Australian Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the light-blazer Sandy - want to protect the children  but they need to recruit Jack Frost as a guardian if they are to succeed, and he is confused.  Then he learns that the moon gave him his name.

I declare an interest. I am known as a founding guardian, and only this decade I handed on the torch to three new guardians. On the day I was named guardian I was told that my name, Raymond, means 'ray of moon' and therefore also 'wise guardian'  for the moon watches over us.  Then Jack asked Santa how he could be sure he was called to be a guardian. 'Because this tells me' said Santa, patting his stomach. Gut intuition.

Pitch possessed Jack's memories in a box. If a person is cut off from their childhood memory they cannot rise to their calling. Jack manages to get back his memories. He becomes free to give himself as a guardian alongside the others. Earth's fear-covered children are freed by endless rays of light.

The week before this I was facilitating a retreat at Whitby, a place where the light-filled Saint Hilda's influence threatens to be dwarfed by the dark forces associated with the fictional Dracula.  The night Hilda died a sister thirteen miles away had a vision of a church roof rising and  Hilda rising through it accompanied by angels of light. Sisters at St. Hilda'sPriory now wish to invite alongsiders to live on their land, even though they do not take the religious vows - could Whitby again become a village of God?

The day I returned I talked with Peter Neilson, a Church of Scotland mission pioneer. He told me that in 1991 he stood near Whitby's roofless ancient abbey without outer walls and had a vision. The vision was of churches without roofs (so its members were closer to heaven) and without walls (so they were closer to the people). This led to the Church of Scotland's Church Without Walls initiatives.

We conversed on the day of Saint Nicholas' , the original Santa Claus. As I reflect on these amazing synchronicities I ask 'What are our stomachs saying?'

Posted at 15:36pm on 8th December 2012
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