It was cold. New Year sales finished. Christmas over. A weekend for hibernating. And yet, out we came after dark, following guide map apps down alleys and up streets, around our London. Cars and buses had been told to stay away. We were going after the next color burst in the sky (a jellyfish over Oxford Circus); the next hidden surprise in a phone box (there were fishes swimming in one) or up in a Regent Street arch (yes, the elephant appearing on one side also had a… back side).
Take a walk below these flying fish on Piccadilly with me in this video and then through a dazzling flower garden in Leicester Square:
This Lumiere light festival was resonating with me from when the sun began to set that winter’s Saturday in Parliament Square. I’m all about seeing more than there is, in the everyday around us. For me, this was like a glimpse of Heaven moving to earth, the routine beginning to quiver as something more is revealed.
In the video below watch myself and a vlogger friend discuss these ten statues at Westminster Abbey: a Polish Franciscan who volunteered to be executed in place of a stranger in Auschwitz; a woman beaten to death through an indigenous ritual because of her faith; a Ugandan Archbishop assassinated in 1977; St. Elizabeth of Russia killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918; Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in 1968 and the Archbishop of San Salvador in 1980; a pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer executed by the Nazis in 1945; a female evangelist from Pakistan called Esther John murdered in 1960; a Papuan man called Lucian Tapiedi killed during the Japanese invasion in 1942 and a Chinese pastor and evangelist killed in the 1972 cultural revolution.
The New Living Translation of Colossians 3:1 does say “…set your sights on the realities of heaven…”. I have been moved recently, listening to someone who had been taken on a visit to Heaven (2 Corinthians 12:1-2), called Kat Kerr. The atmosphere of wonder as people moved through the streets of London during the Lumiere weekend, kept reminding me of her recollections. With one accord we went to discover the next art installation experience, created through light. Earth is a shadow of Heaven and she says how there, the creativity is beyond our imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9).
What began with the martyred saints ended with a glowing garment. A gown in pink or gold, or was it green… This struck a chord with my reflections throughout this whole weekend. Kat Kerr said how she had even seen people chase others down the streets of gold (Revelation 21:21), to ask what they did with their life on earth because they’d spotted the gemstones on their robes of righteousness (Revelation 7:9). These sometimes create images; patterns of gems, that the Father has taken from Himself and placed there as a reward.
It may sound like these martyrs are remembered in stone on this planet, for what sounds like simply a tragic end. However, my own pastor, Ramson Mumba shared how “…the purpose of life is not to live long, even though longevity has its place, but rather that the purpose is to finish your course…” (Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7-8); and that death (for them) would not be defeat, but instead their greatest promotion (Romans 8:35-39; Hebrews 12:1-2).
Finally, why not take a look at this video, in which the dress actually looks like the silver liquid life which Kat Kerr describes as the construction of people’s gowns of salvation, (Isaiah 61:10), in Heaven. This festival really did feel like somewhere else moving into, above, onto and out of the streets of London.