Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here's a short video interview that I've done for Wild and Precious on
liminal spaces - those uncomfortable but full-of-promise moments and seasons in life when everything seems to be shifting...

Friday, April 06, 2012

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

lighting fires for Imbolc and Candlemas

here's my latest post for Communities of the Mystic Christ...

Time to light a candle, time to light a fire. 

'Imbolc' (pronounced 'im-olk') means 'in the belly' and as a Celtic mid-winter festival it celebrated the possibility of new life being formed in the earth, still unseen. Rituals would accompany this key turning point in the year, seeking food and shelter for the tough months ahead until the late summer harvest. One of those rituals was the lighting of fires - symbolizing warmth for the rest of winter, and signaling the coming light of spring. 

The Christian Church took this and merged it into its own celebration of other events full of promise. Now known as Candlemas, on this date the Church celebrates the Purification of  Mary following the birth of Jesus, and the Presentation of her child into God's care and service in the temple in Jerusalem. In a powerful scene described in the Gospel of Luke, two wise (and probably elderly) mystics called Simeon and Anna recognize in the holy child the coming of something extraordinary. Anna speaks of the child as bringing hope to the Holy City. Simeon holds Jesus in his arms and, sensing a wider significance, declares that this child is 'a light for the whole world'.
In Christian practice these mid-winter moments of light and hope are now marked by the making and lighting of candles. And so the streams flow together. The lighting of fires in the Pagan tradition, the lighting of candles in the Christ-following tradition. 
There's something mysterious about fire. Whether in candle, wood-stove or bonfire, fire calls for our attention. Potentially dangerous but also life-enabling.  Fragile at times, unstoppable at others. All of human existence held in the flicker of flame. Perhaps that's why we can find a fire so entrancing.
Whatever we face at this time, however deep our own winters may seem, the rituals of Imbolc and Candlemas remind us that there is still hope, and coming light.
Time to light a candle, time to light a fire. 

text and photo © Ian Adams
January 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

grave and womb

Into Epiphany - the season of revealing what has been unnoticed: the Christ, Light for all the world. In morning bell we are meditating on this icon of the Baptism of Christ. The water is both our grave and womb, death and life, the past and the future...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This is such a joyful piece by Hepworth. From its beginning the community of the Christ at its best has been known for joy in tough times. So here's to being surprised by joy today...

pic by Gail Adams @ Barbara Hepworth Studio and Garden in St Ives

Monday, September 19, 2011

solid and fluid

Another great Hepworth sculpture from the Trewyn studio garden, picture taken on visit in March this year. The shapes are both solid and fluid, for me an insight into the nature of all existence and the life of God, what theologians describe as the Holy Trinity. This may be an icon for me today...

Friday, September 16, 2011

reflect Light

I love the simplicity and clarity of this piece by Barbara Hepworth. My meditation on it led to today's morning bell: let the Light fall on you, reflect the Light... 

my photo at Trewyn Studio garden, St Ives