An old Chinese proverb says ‘it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’.
This simple tea-light holder can remind us that we are supposed to be the light, and play our part in dispelling the darkness.
You will need:
- An old CD or DVD
- A tea light (use an electric one for small children)
- PVA glue
- Glitter, sequins or Christmas shapes
Roll out the blue-tak into a worm shape and stick it in a ring around the hole of the CD, on the shiny side.
Stick the tea light to the middle of the CD.
Spread PVA glue on the rest of the CD and decorate it with the glitter and shapes.
“Don’t judge me!” says my daughter as she guiltily stuffs a second muffin in her mouth. Our culture takes a dim view of judging. Look at the words linked with it: Judgement Day, judgemental, prejudice.
Did she mean ‘judge’, though? I think she rather meant “Don’t condemn me”, and that’s not the same. Judging is not a bad thing. The judges in a competition are there to choose the winner, not to convict the guilty. We have the judges in Strictly Come Dancing, and they’re not there to condemn – OK, well, apart from Craig. But you see the point. Judging is not the same as condemning. Judging means deciding.
There was a report some while ago which said that religious children are more judgemental than non-religious children. We all threw up our hands in horror and asked what we were doing wrong. But reading the report carefully showed a different view. What the study called being ‘judgemental’ was kids saying it was wrong to shove other kids.
I’d agree with them. I’m a mum. “Don’t shove your sister!” is part of the vocabulary. That’s not being judgemental, that’s making a judgement – very different. It’s judging what is right and what is wrong.
That is what justice is about. Judging what is right and what is wrong and then making sure the that right happens.
Our reading says that a shoot will come from Jesse and with righteousness he shall judge the poor. That’s good news! Jesse was the great-great-great-great … grandfather of Jesus, so if he is the one judging with righteousness, that’s great news! Justice, finally justice for the poor.
This Advent, as we wait for the coming king, we need to play our part in bringing this justice as we pray ‘your kingdom come’.
How can I work for justice this Advent? What practical steps can I take?
Isaiah 11:1-10 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.
The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
They will not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.