The first thought that comes to my mind is a link to an earlier post 'God likes Jazz'. In the band each person plays a different instrument, none have any scripted music, to hear them individually one would witness different music but together they make harmony and music. In the image this is not evident, except that they all face the same way!
This group, playing in a square in Rome one summer, were clearly enjoying themselves and were full of enthusiasm, drawing their audience into the rhythm and the melody of their music, which had originally been composed by another.
This always strikes me as a clear image of Christian life and witness - we pick absorb the music of another in order to play our part sharing it for the benefit of others with enthusiasm and joy. But we each do it in our own way with the particular gifts which are ours, contributing to a whole.
This evening we will enjoy the annual City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus' Christmas concert which I anticipate will be just this, but on a much bigger scale. I'm just glad that the wearing of silly hats is not an obligatory part of being a Christian!
This reflection has 'happened' as I drew the image. Based on a photo from a walk in the Cheshire countryside with friends I had in mind our personal journeys to Bethlehem and the Christ-child during the Advent season. In retrospect the star over Bethlehem appears just as much as a cross and leads one to reflect on the journey to our new birth. The fact that it comes through self-sacrifice gives us a notion as to what it meant for God to be born in our human lives in Jesus. It puts the question of the cost of Christmas into a whole different perspective!
Having said this, there are those who will be counting the cost in very significant ways:
Those who have amassed large debt in order to buy presents that will impress.
The newly-marrieds who expected some time as a couple enjoying their new life, now expecting a baby with all the commitments this means.
The wise, who recognise the significance of Jesus' birth and give something of themselves in celebration, but then discover that they are to return home a completely different way.
We all might consider what it means to celebrate and share in the 'incarnation of God' as we and He muddle along in the mess of human life.
This image was given to a dear friend who had terminal cancer, carrying the Gospel that we journey, not to an end, but to a new beginning and life. I trust that it continues to carry this message for her grieving family.
Another friend has commented that the picture has the sense of evening time for him. Perhaps it is when we are in the evening of life that we are most aware of the promise that lies ahead of us?