Sunday, 26 December 2010

Radio 2 - Pause for Thought

This is my Pause for Thought from today's Nikki Bedi programme on Radio 2. 

Reproduced with kind permission from the BBC.

Recently, I went to see The Sound of Music at the theatre, with the wonderful Connie Fisher playing the part of Maria, and to my slight surprise had one of the best evenings out in a long time!

aving grown up watching the film on TV every Christmas, I found that I knew all the words, to all the songs, even though I hadn’t seen it for years. The strong tunes of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical score stayed with me for days, and I kept finding myself whistling ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ or ‘Do-Re-Mi’ at inappropriate moments. And as for Edelweiss, Edelweiss, so good they named it twice, well, what can I say?!

One of my friends asked me if I was going to go in costume, and although the temptation was strong to dress up as an army officer, or even as a nun, my sense of dignity got the better of me on this occasion.

One of the slightly strange things about the evening was the fact that some of the audience were carrying small brown paper packages tied up with strings, but all became clear when they gave them to those sitting near them during the song ‘My Favourite Things’.

Which brings me to boxing day – the day when traditionally people gave Christmas Boxes to tradesmen, to thank them for all they had done during the year. And I wonder which, if any, of the gifts we’ve received this year we are going to really treasure, and which we might already be planning to give away next year, or to return to the shop unopened?

Is there a gift we have received this year that will be, in years to come, one of our ‘favourite things’. I’m not just thinking about the gifts we opened yesterday, but the gifts we’ve received throughout the year: gifts of love, hope, new life, and forgiveness.

In the Bible, Jesus says: “I am leaving you with a gift -- peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid.” (Jn 14.27) And I wonder, this boxing day, if there is any greater gift than this? “peace of mind and heart.”

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