ACW

ACW

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

A word in season

It's still Christmas!  Happy Christmas!  Ninth day today (which one is that?  Drummers?  Ladies dancing?  We're beyond all the poultry, I think.)

My best friends know what a season-dweller I am.  They're careful not to mention it around me if they put their trees up in November, or if they take them down on Boxing Day, and nobody who knows me well ever wishes me a Happy Easter during Holy Week.  This all comes from an Anglican upbringing which leaves me languishing for the seasons like a drooping plant needing water, if I am ever transplanted into another denomination.

The crib stays up till Candlemas. Jesus only appeared after midnight mass...


In a couple of days' time, I shall be lamenting the fact that my children have to go back to school while it is still Christmas, and contemplating asking for a religious exemption.  I'm not quite that silly, however, and I know that we do live in the world.  Besides, Epiphany falls at the weekend this year, so we'll have a great big party to make up for it.

Anyway, as a writer, I'm having to learn to lead a parallel second life, completely out of season.  Advent books are published in the Summer.  Lent is contemplated well after Easter if you're penning devotionals.  For someone who can't hum a carol after Candlemas without shuddering and changing her tune, this has been a steep and difficult learning curve.

As I wondered about this blog post, I thought of using the phrase "A word in season" for the title.  "That must come from the Bible somewhere," I told myself.  A quick Google showed that I wasn't wrong, but sometimes you have to surf the translations a bit to get the exact wording, don't you? 

I could have been thinking of Proverbs 15:23 in the ESV: "To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!"

Or Isaiah 50:4 in the King James: "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary."

Or Proverbs 25:11 in the Darby Bible Translation (I doubt it, as I've never read that particular translation): "As apples of gold in pictures of silver, is a word spoken in season."

Of course, these verses have nothing to do with fasting and feasting, and everything to do with fitting our words to God's timing so that they land in the right hands at the right times.  My prayer for 2018 is to listen out for the leading of the Holy Spirit in my writing, so that somewhere in the kingdom of heaven, where Christ is always incarnate and always crucified and always risen, my words might fall in season for someone, somewhere.

Amy is a writer, performance storyteller and ventriloquist.  She provides scripts and materials for GenR8, a Cambridgeshire charity running Christian assemblies and events in schools. She has written three books about puppetry and storytelling, published by Kevin Mayhew. Two of them are seasonal!

9 comments:

  1. It is a hard thing to inhabit a season before its proper time. I struggled with launching my Lent book in November - before Advent had even started!

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    1. Gaaaah. I think I am never going to find it easy!

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  2. Not having a traditional church background of any kind, I'm one of those people who says 'Epiphany .. now when is that, exactly?' and I am always surprised by Shrove Tuesday. However, I'm happy to indulge in the pancakes, once I'm reminded.

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    1. Epiphany is on January 6th. There’s still time to get hold of a cake and a crown :D

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  3. A lovely post, Amy. Musicians as well as writers suffer from displaced seasons. Carol practice in the autumn anyone? Sue

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    1. Oh, absolutely. I have to somehow not listen to myself singing!

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  4. I'm the same as Fran! No idea about church traditions and seasons, with my non Christian upbringing and charismatic church I landed in, at 14! Great thoughts, Amy. Your writing always makes me smile.

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