A Facebook mugging…

Ugly Grace

Picture the scene; A family attired in Christmas jumpers, rosy-cheeked, gathered round an open fire after a bracing country walk. There’s a huge home cooked dinner on the table, a twinkly Christmas tree shimmering merrily in the corner, happy chatter, hearts all aglow.

If Facebook is to be believed, this was the scene for many families this Christmas.  And yet behind those happy selfie snaps, how much of it was a true reflection of their real lives?  How many families were struggling with resentment or ill-health or worries about the future?   How many paused from their squabbling just long enough to put a smiley picture on Twitter?

If you’ve looked at someone else’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter this year and thought, why isn’t my Christmas like that? Why don’t I have as many friends?  Why isn’t my family happy...chances are, you’ve been the victim of a Facebook mugging.

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The First Sunday of Epiphany

Malcolm Guite

The dove descends, the spirit soars and sings

The season of Epiphany is an invitation to reflect on the many little ‘epiphanies’, glimpses of how things really are, which are vouchsafed us in the Gospel. The Lectionary readings for this first Sunday of Epiphany (Luke 3.15-17, 21-22) give us an opportunity to reflect on the moment when ‘the heavens opened’ at Jesus’ Baptism and we were given a glimpse of Father Son and Holy Spirit at the heart of all things. This sonnet is a reflection on that mystery. As always you can hear it by clicking on the ‘play’ sign or on the title of the poem. I am grateful to Margot Krebs Neale for the beautiful photograph, taken at the river Jordan which says as much as, if not more than the poem. The poem itself is from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press


Beginning…

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