Jul 06 2008

A Midwinter Celebration

Published by under Meetings

Our next meeting, on Friday 11 July, will be a midwinter celebration. Bring some finger food and (optionally) some kind of contribution: a story, poem, prayer, song, or something else I haven’t thought of.

Why a midwinter celebration? The German theologian Eberhard Jungel says, “It’s high time that from time to time time is different.” This elegant play with the word “time” proposes that we have some times that are different from other times. For the cosmos, one day is pretty much the same as another. Cosmologically, there was nothing special at all about January 1 2001. It was just our human conventions that made it different. So let’s take this Friday and make it a day of celebration.

I believe that we need to vary the style of our meetings. We tend to have a speaker talking or to have a discussion, where the rational analysis of ideas tends to predominate. I’d like this celebration to be more “right-brain” than our usual diet of left-brain activity, more creative, poetic, meditative, more aligned to mythos than logos.

What is there to celebrate?  In the Northern hemisphere, Christians celebrate Christmas at the Winter solstice, the saviour coming into the darkness and cold to bring light into the world. Their celebrations are a Christian overlay on ancient pre-Christian rituals, often centred on the sun.

Maori celebrate Matariki, the beginning of the new year.

Juliet Batten argues that we need to have celebrations that help to align us with nature. The transplantation of European culture to our southern colony broke the link between the celebrations of the Church year and the rhythms of nature.

Bill Wallace has material for a midwinter celebration that mediates on darkness, breaking with the negative associations that it has in most religious traditions.

I’m planning to bring a Bill Wallace hymn, a delightful Christmas story, and a Bill Wallace mediation on darkness.  Others will I trust bring other contributions that will help to make this a creative and many-sided celebration!

Comments Off on A Midwinter Celebration

Comments are closed at this time.