For to us a child is born…of the greatness of his ...peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9
the Holy Ghost over the bent
world broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings
God's Grandeur, Gerard Manley Hopkins
I'm in, I'm all in
Though often associated with guilt and saying ‘no’ to something, my growing conviction is that repentance is largely about turning aside, and saying a wholehearted* and positive yes, by word and/or action. It is paying attention to the depth and richness of what is and uttering somewhere deep within us ‘I’m in, I’m all in’. It is turning towards the brightness with our whole body, heart and soul, towards the new direction, the call, the invitation, the bright and burning lit tree that awaits us.
We see Mary doing this. She and Joseph are tramping around Bethlehem looking for somewhere, anywhere it seems, to give birth. They are not in their own home, their home town. They receive strange gifts from exotic strangers, are assaulted by angels at each turn and danger and disregard loom. Yet she, they, turn into the invitation, as a yacht might turn into the wind. The sail catches, and they are taken on.
So let’s turn aside, turn into, turn towards the brightness that God offers us, in its many guises, and so be led into deep and boundless peace.
*though at times tentative may be all we can manage