I was intrigued, and perhaps a little surprised, to learn from today’s reading that the image of “watchers/watchmen” is one of the less popular images of ordained minsters. For me, it was the image which, when I encountered it a friend’s ordination service, drew me back to realising that I really did need to explore my own call to ordination. The idea that part of the vocation of a priest is “to watch for the signs of God’s new creation” is one which excites me. Yes, I think when I read that part of the ordinal, this is what I was made for.
It is something which I think Rossetti herself does rather brilliantly in her poetry. Her extraordinary powers of observation and expression so often capture perfectly the essence of the signs of God’s kingdom, already among us and yet to come. And she captures so well too the scale of the vision of that kingdom, which is both immeasurably vast, and to be found in the smallest, most ordinary things. So in today’s poem, her imagery ranges from the small scale – the rising moon, a lighted lamp – to echoes of the all-encompassing vision of Revelation.
We all are called to be watchers, looking for the signs of God’s new creation, seeking and finding in the ordinary and the extraordinary the hallmarks of the peaceable kingdom which is here and yet to come.
This year for #AdventBookClub a group of us are reading “In The Bleak Midwinter” by Rachel Mann. Join us on Facebook or Twitter for daily reflections and discussions. We are also raising money for the Trussell Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adventbookclub2019.