New Year, New Day.
Sound of the Anvil originates from my time in Tonyrefail (that translates as sound of the anvil) when each unfolding of a new year I would release a prophetic word, Divine insight into the year and season ahead. It would be a sounding out to bring shape and focus into the present and hope for the future. These are the thoughts that have stirred me as 2015 has closed and 2016 has begun.
2016, a Year of Recalibration.
A readjusting, realignment. Calibration needs to be correct or accuracy will be affected. A new year is always a time for a personal recalibration, whether it be diet or fitness, or a fresh focus spiritually or relationally. This year both personally and corporately we need to be ready and willing to recalibrate. Recalibration is a mark of a secure sole. ‘Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Readjust the thinking. “Your self perception may be getting in the way. We all form our own realities, and those realities are not perfect. Your self perception can be very limiting, and shaking up your notion of the world can do wonders for your productivity, creativity and happiness…recalibrate your reality.” So easy to be stuck into a routine or a way of thinking. We can lose sight of differing perspectives. We can have an umwelt, where we think our reality is the only reality. it isn’t. Time to go by a different route, walk in someone else’s shoes, rearrange the furniture. Some of us may be involved in major relocation this year. Others will be involved in unexpected transfers and shifts at work. Others will be doing major changes within their homes. Landscapes will physically change outside our window. Time to stay flexible.
2016, a Year of Increased awareness of the Sacredness of the Ordinary.
There will be a fresh breed of normal mystics who will be living, sharing and revealing the Divine in the seemingly mundane. Jars of clay and brokenness will reveal the treasure within everyday. Life itself will become a mystery revealed. The everyday journeys will have the fingerprints of heaven all over them. Life itself will become the greatest act of worship. Family life, work, times alone, walks, contemplation, normal conversation, coffee cups, pint glasses, all will carry Divine DNA. The normal mystics will be us; our friends, our families, our children, our work colleagues, thinkers, poets, musicians, writers, home makers, coffee drinkers, the marginalised, the misunderstood, the broken, the gracious, the happy, the depressed, the hopeful, the disillusioned, the silent, the joker, these and many more will be the normal mystics as we see the sacredness of our surroundings and the people we share them with.
2016, a Year of walking the line between The finished work of Christ and the loose ends He left us with.
Jesus cried ‘it is finished’. I believe in the finished, complete work of Christ. But I also see one who loved leaving us with loose ends. Accepting tensions and dwelling in the land of no answers peaceably will be key to personal and corporate growth this year, Tension is a healthy environment to dwell in. Straddling the world of completion and never ending is going to be a key land this year. Be happy to not know. I once wrote that Jesus was not only the answer but the question, be happy, content, in the land of questions. People do not want answers, just those who will question with them. Precious gems are formed through tension and pressure. The day of the ‘how to’ has gone. It is the day of the ‘haven’t got a clue but I’ll give it a go’. We like to tie up the loose ends. God loves to untie everything. 2016 will be the year of walking the line between the two and walking it with joy.
2016, a Year of a different mantle.
Like many I was devastated at the news this week of the death of David Bowie. Incredible artist, musician, chameleon, shape-shifter, writer. Often a mystery, but always re-inventing himself to challenge another generation. My spirit was saddened and intrigued at the way he died leaving behind his latest volume of work, Blackstar, that I only bought last Friday, and seeing his final video called ‘Lazarus’. Even his death seemed to be a work of art. I have often heard Christians desiring and wanting revivalist’s mantles. I have been to the grave of Evan Roberts and prayed for something. I have sat at the feet of a woman who served with Smith Wigglesworth and longed. Todd Bentley, the Arnotts, Pensacola, the desire for something of them to fall onto us. This past couple of days I have longed for the mantle of David Bowie to fall on myself and the church. That mantle of creativity and mystery, of art and of shape-shifting. To never be pinned down but to be accessible. To never be afraid to be anything other than myself and to be expressive. 2016 is going to be a year of seeking a different mantle.