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Advent Doors Victoria

door-collage.jpg

Collage of Victoria doors
Some of the doors we'll be seeing

What is ‘Advent Doors’?

Usually as soon as we hit Advent we, or our kids, start opening little doors in calendars which lead up to Christmas time.  Each door usually comes with something behind it, a picture from the story of the birth of Jesus, a festive scene, or even if you are very lucky a piece of candy (usually chocolate!)

At St John the Divine we wondered how we might offer some doors to open this Advent time.  How can we consider again the Christmas story over the coming weeks? How can we be challenged to consider what it means to say that “Christ is coming” this Christmas time?

There are lots of doors around Victoria, some open, some closed. Some are full of hope, others not so much.  As we look around this city we at St John the Divine are asking questions about these doors as we prepare for Christmas.  Behind every door there will be a surprise, a thought, a meditation, a verse from the Bible, perhaps? Some days might have a video link, others a link to a piece of music.  All of them will offer something of the diversity, challenge, joy and hope that is Victoria at Christmas time.    Some will be celebratory, some disturbing, all of them we hope will be thought provoking.

Come back every day for a new picture, see on twitter for a daily link, try and guess where they are and consider why they may be important.  

Have a blessed Advent!

St John the Divine can be found at www.stjohnthedivine.bc.ca
http://www.twitter.com/StJohnVicBC
https://www.facebook.com/StJohnVicBC 

Some questions, a meditation for Advent Doors:

To what are we opening doors?  And where from?

  • Which doors are we closing and which are closed to us?
  • Who says which doors are to be kept shut, and who opens doors to us and for us?
  • Which doors inspire us?  Which doors challenge us?  Which doors are we afraid of?

Posts in series

A doorway which could lead to a great spiritual journey, an adventure of faith—but just how accessible is it?
A doorway to community, a reminder of shared humanity and need.
A doorway to a number of worlds only limited by imagination. A place of learning and information, wisdom and knowledge. Also a place of quiet companionship, comfort and shelter from the rain. Our libraries are treasures
Not all doors represent an entrance. Some doors are an exit. Come and read how this metaphorical image becomes real in today’s Advent reflection.
Today is the last day of Hannukah! Chag Chanukah Sameach! But why should we care? We’re not Jewish…
On a day when we mourn an inspirational leader, we remember his incarceration, and we remember those who are now in prison. We remember also that there are many kinds of prison and many types of freedom.
Canada is nation of Immigrants, diverse and rich in the heritage of many nations. But the doors to Immigration are harder to open - how does it feel to be on the other side, and how does it feel to be let through?
A doorway to democracy. The historic Legislature reminds us the role of our politicians in representing the people they serve. This building is a place for debate, discussion and decisions which can affect the lives of thousands.
Hotels are doorways for work and for leisure - they can represent hospitality, comfort, happiness and luxury. Some of the more ‘budget’ hotels, however, can be places of discomfort, transience, rootlessness, encounters good and bad, sordid and intimate, joyful or fearful.
Some doors are whimsical, make us laugh and share good cheer. A lighter touch today—can you guess the door?
Some doorways are not accessible, Though there may be the hope of regeneration, renewal, rebuilding - there is often only a long wait for demolition. How does that translate to the doorways in our own hearts and minds?
Doorways aren’t just used for entry and exit, but when a doorway becomes the only place of refuge, the only home available to some people what does this say to, and about, our city? Or our society? And who is it sleeping in these doorways?
Are some doors only for girls and other only for boys? If not, why are we so preoccupied with a person’s gender?
There are many and diverse homes in and around Downtown Victoria, on land and water. Today’s doorway is one that is part of another community life in our city and offers us some questions about community, adventure and life changes.
A doorway into a history of prejudice and division. But this is not ancient history and we still have a calling to be intolerant of racism and of all prejudice. Do we even realise where our prejudices come from, and are we aware of the often unconscious intolerances and prejudices we carry?
Another light hearted door reflective of life’s ups and downs. Sometimes we can be surprised by the consideration (or lack of consideration) of others.
There are many forms of homelessness, many attitudes held towards the homeless and many agencies which seek to support and assist the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. Where do we fit in to all of this?
There is strong belief in the Christian faith and in the roots of the Hebrew faith upon which it is founded that God is present in all of creation, and that God looks at the world - and the creatures within it - and says ‘this is very good’. If all of creation is loved and affirmed by God then are we human beings truly caring for the world, and our fellow creatures, as we should?
A doorway to a journey. Perhaps a homecoming? A reunion? Needing to do the shopping, visit downtown, get out of the city, get to a show? Perhaps to see a relative or friend in need? Perhaps just for the ride? We spend a lot of time trying to get to places - how about making the most of the journey.? How about learning to be a pilgrim?
The history of the relationship between First Nations peoples and incoming settlers is a source of ongoing shame to many, particularly as still more instances of abuse and mistreatment come to light. Many of us recognize, however, that there is much to learn from our Aboriginal Brothers and sisters, where could those doorways take us?
Some doors open into plenty, while some open into emptiness and hunger. What role do we play in taking care of our neighbour? For that matter, who is our ‘neighbour’?

Thanks to a blog called Frolicking Freckles, we learned a lot about the history of gingerbread houses,

Christmas can be a doorway to a time of light and hope and joy. As we come to the last days of our Advent Doors we reflect on the celebration of light and life that is at the heart of this festival.
A doorway to family celebrations - but family is about more than who we are related to. In the timeless words of the Muppet Christmas Carol -“Wherever there is love it feels like Christmas’
As we end the season of Advent the doors are open - Happy Christmas!