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Christchurch earthquake

shortest day

Christchurch earthquakeChristchurch “city” is glum, grey, and empty. Acres of empty grey spaces, rubble, and the ever-present sound of cascading debris, and metal dinosaurs chewing their way through munted buildings.

Fog and grey skies. That’s not even mentioning the people sleeping out in cars, vans, etc. because they have not been helped yet after quakes a year and a half ago… At night the centre of the “city” is dark.

Rockefeller Ice skatingIn the Northern Hemisphere, at this time in the seasons, Winter Solstice, people would be wrapped up celebrating Hanukkah and four days away from Christmas. Lights would be everywhere, in shop windows, outside and inside homes… carollers on corners, special services, excitement counting down to sharing gifts,…

Here: fog, grey skies, rubble, a foreboding and empty “city”, scaffolding,…

In the Northern Hemisphere the lights, music, feasting, singing, gift-giving, excitement are all tied intimately to religious festivals…

mid-winter church and lightsHow long has Christianity been in the Southern Hemisphere? What local traditions do we have to show for it (Yes, the second Sunday after Pentecost is celebrated by some Anglicans Downunder by celebrating the Feast of the Church’s Constitution!)

Matariki, the rising of the constellation of the seven stars of the Pleiades, should be a gift for us down here. Lights… Seven-branched candlestick – lighting one new candle each day… Where is all the liturgical creativity… The church should be leading the way…

ps. I gather we are going to get about 20,000 workmen moving into Christchurch for the rebuild. That’s a couple of parishes worth. Of men. Males for those who don’t understand contemporary inclusive language. With good incomes in a city with not much happening. I’d be interested in the church’s strategic planning about that… And wondering about the culture that we might end up building in the new Christchurch…

First photo is mine; source of second photo; third photo.

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3 thoughts on “shortest day”

  1. I continue to remember the people of Christchurch in my prayers. It is sad that things remain in such a state.

    We had a flood here in 2008. The city north of us that got the worst damage still has areas that look much like your photo, despite lots of talk from the government and others. I suspect that every natural disaster (and man-made ones, such as war) leave a similar aftermath of despair that lingers for years.

    But God does not forget, nor does he abandon his people.

    Those are interesting thoughts about the construction men coming to town. And also about Matariki.

  2. ‘Your people’s heart, your people’s part
    be in our caring for this land;
    for faith to flower, for aroha
    to let each other’s mana stand.’

    I think the world is, as Andrew H says, filled with desolate images, in contrast with the overwhelming commercialism and artificial light in other places…

    ‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.’ ( Romans 8 )

    Who knows where Christ will walk amongst us within his followers: but I am guessing more easily in the scenes of desolation and need than in malls and materialism.

    We never hear about the people made homeless by the earthquakes: that’s a long time to live in a car, in the dark.

    But the rest of the world sees the light in Christchurch, in the people helping each other: ‘You are the light…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’

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