Reflections for Advent, No. 22
Image above: James & Lesley Sutton, Annunciation 2015
“This clay maquette depicts Mary pondering her calling to bring the Christ child to birth in the presence of the angel Gabriel. As with Mary, we are each of us called to participate in bringing God to birth in the world through our acceptance of his invitation to dwell within us. We all have our own annunciations when we hear the whisper of Gods sacred call inviting us to make flesh the spirit of our heavenly father; to respond with the words of Mary, “Be it unto me according to Thy will”.
The Advent season invites us to quiet reflection on this amazing invitation; to consider how God has been birthed in our journey so far and to ask ourselves if we are willing vessels still for His continued expression within our lives. We need to choose to respond to His call within us to be present in the moment, to engage fully with life, not always looking back to the past or longing for the future, but to learn to live creatively, passionately and thankfully
in the gift of the present moment. This involves making space for contemplation, for biblical reflection and meditation, creating spaces in our heads and hearts and within our busy diaries for God to speak to us. If we want to hear Gods word over our life, to experience His love for us in deeper ways, to be filled to overflowing with His spirit of compassion, we must learn to sit with him daily, to come to recognize his presence with us in every moment and every circumstance, be it through difficulty and suffering or times of great joy and excitement.
This advent season is a call to us to welcome the Christ child as Mary did when she said those beautiful words, ‘Be it unto me according to Thy will.’ She was offering herself to be a part of Gods growing story. She accepted the invitation for God to grow within her, and to birth within her his vision and promise for the future.
Spend a few moments in silence and stillness. When your soul is quietened see if you are ready to pray the prayer of Mary.”
“Be it unto me according to Thy will.”
James and Lesley Sutton
James Sutton works in stone, metal and bronze from his studio on Hall farm in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. He produces work to commission and exhibits throughout the country creating small personal works as well as large Public Art. James also runs creative workshops in the community, in care homes, primary schools, people with special needs, mental health difficulties and other isolated groups in the community.
Lesley Sutton is an artist, curator and director of PassionArt, a charity that aims to establish beauty, truth and goodness at the heart of our communities. Curating exhibitions, festivals and projects that partner with both secular and sacred spaces they aim to build bridges and creative partnerships between the church and community to encourage cultural and social transformation.