It’s that time of year – returning to the daily routine after perhaps only a short break but a break nonetheless. Hopes for a new year tempered by wintry weather, dark nights and rather relentless news bulletins. But there was one little story in the twitter feed that caught my heart and gave me a glimmer of hope for good things.
Victoria Wood is a much missed talent, whose writing, singing and performing brought joy to many. Her wit was never directed at a person or delivered at the expense of another. She seemed to have a keen perception of our absurdities and an ability to create characters and dialogue that made you laugh at us not them. A wonderful mixture of pathos and humour that does make one laugh out loud. Life is absurd and we would do well to enjoy the absurdity. I seem to recall reading somewhere that complaining and grumbling is not recommended.
Anyway, I am a fan of Victoria.
Well, it was revealed recently that she would seek out a clip recorded back in the ‘80s which she watched each and every year simply because it gave her joy.
I would trust her judgement, anything that gave her joy is probably worth a look. That clip is the introduction to Highway, a religious programme from ITV with Harry Secombe, which, one year, was recorded in what was the new shopping centre in our own home town.
Now, you may go to seek out the clip and watch a dance routine put together by a group of people just having fun. No real reason, no deep and meaningful endeavour but just because they wanted to. You may watch it and be disappointed and think of it as rather dated and laughable.
But don’t laugh at – laugh with. Look for, and cultivate joy. Don’t be quick to judge, be quick to join in with the joy and the absurdity of it all.
Our town has its share of being newsworthy for the wrong reasons but with this Ipswich is in the news just for bringing joy to someone whom the Lord gifted with bringing joy to the nation.
Joy is one of the fruit of the presence of God. So, for this year may we seek joy - and pursue it. Be countercultural, find things to celebrate and highlight the joy in the middle of the muddle!
This guest blog was contributed by Chrissie McLean. Chrissie has lived in Ipswich since 1994, when God called her here from Hampshire and she's never looked back. She has been part of Hope Church for 21 years, where she has been serving and singing in the worship team.
These blogs are written by different people from the IIP team. They are prompted by the things we talk about and pray about when we meet together and by words shared from the praying community in Ipswich.