The First Sunday of Advent: Doorway by Antosh Wojcik

Today at the Cathedral View More
8:00am Morning Prayer
8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
8:30am Eucharist
12:30pm Eucharist
4:00pm Last entry for sightseeing
5:00pm Choral Evensong
5:30pm Cathedral closes

The First Sunday of Advent: Doorway by Antosh Wojcik

The First Sunday in Advent - 2 December

by Antosh Wojcik
featuring the drawings of Stephanie K Kane

Antosh Wojcik is an artist from Reading, currently based in Henley-On-Thames. He is one half of Post Everything, with Will Tyas. Both are poets and musicians who specialise in creative documentation of our their own work and the work of others. 
It is the sixth month of Gabriel’s anxiety dream.
He wakes seconds before & years later,
at Mary’s door. He had known this day
since he began and never known it.
He wakes at the beginning of every mouth in the story.
He wakes in text,
an event of knocking.

Reaching into his future depictions,
he chooses androgyny,
a face recognisable as all faces yet none.
Appear as human.
He crafts muscles.
Burls a heart into a chamber of feathers.

Revising what it means to be messenger,
Gabriel practices knocking in the mirror.

He remembers God appearing to Moses
as fire in the thistle bush.  
For this woman who holds the birth of light
at her centre,
he must be as plain as a sentence. 

At the door, he knocks with a wing.
How does an angel enter, he thinks.
She opens. In that moment, he sees her timeline pass
and in that, her un-born’s blood on the thistles and in that,
the resurrection and in that, the return.

Do not be afraid Mary, you will give birth to a son.

Even though he has foreseen
& lived this moment through all time,
he finally experiences Mary’s smile.
Let it be with me, just as you say.
How does an angel exit, he thinks.


In taking on the persona of the angel Gabriel, Antosh Wojcik weaves meta-narrative (birth, death, resurrection, return) and story (Moses, Mary, Messiah) with the personal. In his retelling, time and eternity, the finite and the infinite, the human and the divine, collide. Used to thinking about the annunciation from Mary’s perspective, we are drawn into the mind of Gabriel as he encounters Mary, the vessel, the woman, the mother-to-be. We are ushered onto holy ground along with the angel, ground made holy not by his presence, but by the presence of she who would give birth to He who would change the world.

Often when we think about Mary we reflect on what it means to say yes, to live by faith, to dispel our fears and uncertainty when God disrupts the regular rhythm of our days. Here we reflect on those same themes but from a different perspective.

Even Gabriel, as God’s messenger, has an unexpected encounter with God, one he isn’t quite prepared for, one that defies his expectations, and yet makes sense of all that has come before and all that is to come.

Think about some of the unexpected places where you have encountered God? How might God be disrupting the daily pattern of your life at the moment?

What does it mean for you to say ‘yes’ to God?