Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Three lifejackets - two adult, one infant - hang from the boat ..............

If you’re in London in the next few weeks 
the spirit of Christmas has turned up at 
in Arabella Dorman’s artwork Flight. 

The fragile, deflated dinghy hanging low from the roof of the church, 
carried 62 people, mainly Syrian, from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. They were rescued by the Greek coastguard after their outboard motor failed and the dinghy, designed for 15, started to take on water.

Three lifejackets - two adult, one infant - hang from the boat, 
a reminder that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were away to Egypt as refugees, not long after they were away in the manger. 

All 62 people were rescued from this dinghy - 
3,100 others lost their lives on the same perilous journey this year.

There’s a tradition of hanging boats from church ceilings. 
The word 'nave' is rooted in the Latin NAVIS or ‘ship’... 
on a good day the ship of fools is refuge on stormy seas.

Lucy Winkett, the vicar of St James’s Church Piccadilly, says, 
'Whatever the Victorian carols might say about oxen and midwinter snow, the approaching story of Christmas is of Mary and Joseph becoming refugees after giving birth in dangerous circumstances to a baby who grew up to change the course of world history. 

And the coming festival declares that the birth of Christ expresses something unutterably beautiful and redemptive about the renewing presence of God in the world. 
The real Christmas celebrates the divine in a humanity that is both messy and miraculous, 
a festival by no means sanitised from the blood and tears of the world. 
And this real Christmas story 
is this year is being played out in front of us 
in family after family climbing into boats to flee from tyranny.'

by Martin Wroe