#AdventBookClub Chapter 1, Anna

This isn’t one of my usual mental health blogs. This year I am taking part in the Twitter #AdventBookClub. A number of us are taking some time out throughout Advent to read Stephen Cottrell’s ‘Walking Backwards to Christmas’ and blog and discuss what arises from the reading. I’m out of my comfort zone here but I’m going to attempt to write a short blog on what hit me in chapter 1 of the book, ‘Anna’, which is based upon Luke 2: 36-38 of the Bible.

I was struck by a couple things whilst reading this chapter and I’ll lay them out here:

1) Stephen reminds us, through Anna’s story, that people who read the scriptures can fall into the trap thinking that they are pointed to church (the Temple in Anna’s time). Whereas we really know that the church is pointing us somewhere else, to God. I know this sounds fairly obvious but recently I have had a spell of illness and been unable to attend church. This was a complicated issue due to the nature of my illness (which can be found in other recent blog posts of mine). I have attempted to continue to pray and worship by myself but only recently attended church again. I became frustrated that I wasn’t able to attend services but in reality I was looking in the right direction with my own personal prayer and worship. Church serves a purpose but it isn’t the purpose.

2) Secondly, the church and festivities at this time of year are exciting and thrilling. The reason for the season of Advent, of preparation to celebrate the coming of Jesus into this world can get lost in everything going on around us in terms of consumerism and planning for family visits, etc. I’m hoping by participating in #AdventBookClub this year that I’ll be able to find some special, real, Advent preparation.

So, I’m hoping that further blogs will be more meaningful and insightful but this is just dipping the toe into the water of blogging about a different subject for me.


About Carrie Quinn

I'm a former solicitor whose life was turned upside down due to problems with my mental health. I'm now aiming towards recovery, which to me means rebuilding a meaningful life - not necessarily disorder free.
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2 Responses to #AdventBookClub Chapter 1, Anna

  1. ramtopsrac says:

    Your first point Carrie is so important, and I think the fact that you’ve managed to maintain any spiritual discipline in recent weeks is a real testimony to your commitment and faith. But it also raises a concern on my part that in some medical situations and institutions, there is no spiritual support – at least that’s what I infer from what you say. If that is the case, then it is (another) sad indictment of our mental health system. If I infer wrongly, my apologies.

    Keep up with this – keeping it simple is good. I can’t join the conversation on Twitter easily but I’m reading and loving the book, and keeping an eye on what that Grahart @ramtopsgrum posts 😉

    • Carrie Quinn says:

      Thanks for your comment. I suppose spiritual discipline is a bit too grand for what I’ve been engaging in the past few months – more like a modern day psalmist 😉
      There is a hospital chaplaincy team but I didn’t ask to see them. I’m not sure what held me back.

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