My impression of the apprentices on the hit BBC reality show does not seem to change. No matter what cohort, what year, they represent they continue to be thoroughly incompetent, selfish, mis-informed individuals who lack the emotional skills to relate and work as a team.
The latest task was for the apprentices to create a chocolate brand which included cooking up a recipe, packaging and presenting the finished product to well-known retailers. There were too many disasters along the way to describe in detail. The programme was, for me, an Advent farce which partially inspired this blog! The process of making chocolates was lavishly laid on for the candidates to create a selection of delicious, tempting treats for Christmas.
In Advent, the tribes of Christians across the world, seek out something unusual, something special which makes sense of life. God has lavishly laid on for us a wonderful experience that we might play and create. If Advent was a box of chocolates it would be a rich assortment of colours, tastes and textures. I love the season of Advent and yet there is something in the waiting which is difficult. I wonder if it is just too chewy with its apocalyptic language and forebodings? I wonder also, if at times it is a little sickly sweet being overtaken by the commercial worldview, glamourising God’s humble (even scandalous) action of joining our human chaos.
Advent is a season which is packed with contradictory imagery – light and dark, deserts and streams, hope and heartache, action and contemplation. Perhaps we should simply allow our faith-driven, mystical Advent to wash over the world’s incompetence, selfishness and pride. In Advent, the church locally and universally works as a team, gathering up the mistakes of the world – the Brexits, the carbon emissions, the food poverty, the shootings, the crass political tweets… Advent is the season to let God be God, the God that dares to believe in the world and its people despite our inability even to make chocolate look and taste heavenly. We are all apprentices, serving one Lord!
Learn more about God’s care for all people this Sunday at St Michael & All Angels, Summertown, 8am and 10am.
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