Advent Reflections 2020 : Day 14

Sound of the Shire

Everybody has their own rituals and traditions at Christmas time, whether it’s visiting friends and family, playing with the kids, going for a boxing day walk or watching the Queen’s Speech. I Grew up in the ’80s, it was traditional for the BBC and ITV to purchase a big-name, epic film and show it on Christmas Day. I’m fairly sure thats how I first saw Indiana Jones and many of the Bond Films, I’m looking forward to the release of ‘Soul’ on Disney+ this year.

Some of my favourite films to watch during the Christmas season are the Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. As well as the sense of escapism (and who doesn’t need that this year) there are always characters that are a great metaphor for those we meet in the nativity.

Frodo and Samwise are are perhaps not on the same sort of journey as Mary and Joseph but both journeys can help us reflect on our relationships with those we love. The choices and motivations of Aragorn, Boromir and others can help us to reflect on our own motivations and choices during the pandemic and moving forwards into 2021. Gandalf can perhaps bring back a sense of magic to the world that has been lost while we grapple with COVID. I’m not sure if Saruman or Sauron is a better metaphor for Herod but it’s always interesting (to me anyway) to explore the shadow side a story. The elves give us an opportunity to reflect on hospitality – maybe we have missed it this year or given it when others couldn’t? Perhaps Gollum can help us to reflect on what we have valued most this year?

The Lord of the Rings films are full of moments when the characters reflect on their situation and the journey they are on. Advent is a great time to reflect on the past year.

Here’s 20 Questions to reflect on 2020;

  1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
  2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
  3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
  4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
  5. Pick three words to describe this past year.
  6. Pick three words a friend would use to describe your year.
  7. What is the one phrase you hope never to hear again?
  8. What were the best books you read this year?
  9. Who were your most valuable relationships with?
  10. What was your biggest personal change in 2020?
  11. In what way(s) did you change emotionally?
  12. In what way(s) did you change spiritually?
  13. In what way(s) did you change physically?
  14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
  15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work?
  16. What was the most challenging part of your work?
  17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
  18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
  19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
  20. Create a phrase or statement that describes this past year for you.

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