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  • Whose truth is it anyway?

    This coming Sunday we will be "praying the week's news", so I am buying a couple of newspapers each day... and have set myself the challenge that each day one may be one I'd naturally choose, and one must not. 

    It's an interesting question to ask myself, 'why would/wouldn't I buy this newspaper normally', and has nothing whatsoever to do with the direction I have in mind for the service (though who knows!).

    A former work colleague's daughter, a bright, intelligent young woman, works for a 'red top' newspaper I'd never consider buying, and this, I think illustrates the conundrum.  Generally speaking, whatever their political slant, whatever their target readership, news media employ intelligent, well-educated people to write their copy.

    Today I bought two newspapers, both aimed at a thoughtful readership.  One claims, and seeks, to be polticially neutral, if by political we mean party allegiance.  The other overtly takes a political stance on a single issue, and uses that lense to view the world.  It's not that one is 'right' and one 'wrong' they have different aims.  It's not the case that I agree or disagree with either viewpoint on any, or every, topic.

    Way back when, we were actively encouraged to read theologians we would (or expected to) disagree with, alllowing oursleves to come under their thrall, to see the arguments as they saw them, and only then to form an opinion.  It was wise advice then, and it's wise advice now.  It also applies to newspapers and beyond.

    So, this Sunday the array of newspapers will be "interesting" and may cause a few comments.  But I think that's OK, because Jesus wasn't beyond a bit of controversy...

     

  • Chilling...

    This photo of Sophie flat out on her back, enjoying the warm afternoon sunshine today, fills me with joy.

    Today's "day off" included deep cleaning my en suite shower room (!), a few Duo Lingo French lessons, some thrilling netball (go Roses!) and now some relaxing.  The mix of activities has been good, and it's been a 'good day.'

    Looking forward to my week now, having chilled, worked and played.

  • Lego Prayers

    Most people opted for the quiet, contemplative serivce, but a few small people were grateful for the alternative with lego prayers.   Whether they actually used any of the prayer ideas or whether they simply had fun, it doesn't matter.  This was the prototype I made at home.  It's an idea that can be revisited some other time - or not.

  • The Prayer-filled Life... Hazelnuts and Other Things.

    This morning we had a dip into contemplative spirituality, complete with a bit of Lectio Divina and an Examen prayer.  We also listened to a couple of very short extracts from two different contemplatives,  Brother Lawrence and Mother Julian.  The examen prayer came from Pray As You Go, our Bible readings were Palm 8 and parts of John 14 in The Message paraphrase.

    'The Practice of the Presence of God' Brother Lawrence:

    I have found in many books many different ways of going to God and many different practices in living the spiritual life.  I began to that this was only confusing me, as the only thing I was seeking was to become wholly God’s.

    Thus, I resolved to give my all for God’s all.  After having given myself wholly to God that he might take away my sin, I renounced, for the love of God, everything that was not God, and I began to live as if there was none but God and I in the world.

    Sometimes I imagined myself standing before him as a poor criminal at the feet of a judge.  At other times I beheld him in my heart as my Father and as my God.  IO worshipped him as often as I could, keeping my mind in his holy presence and recalling it back to God as often as I found it had wandered from him.

    'Revelations of Divine Love' Julian of Norwich

    [The Lord] showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of his hand, as it seemed to me, and it was as round as a ball. 

     

    I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: what can this be? I was amazed that it could last, for I thought that because of its littleness, it would suddenly have fallen into nothing. 

     

    And I was answered in my understanding: it lasts and always will because God loves it; and thus everything has being through the love of God.

     

    In this little thing I saw three properties.

     

    The first is that God made it, the second is that God loves it, the third is that God preserves it.  But what did I see in it?

     

    It is that God is the Creator and the protector and the lover.

     

    For until I am substantially united to him, I can never have perfect rest or true happiness, until, that is, I am so attached to him that there can be no created thing between my God and me.

     

    ~

     

    And these words of the goodness of God are very dear to the soul and very close to touching our Lord’s will, for his goodness fills all his creatures and his blessed works full and endlessly overflows them.  For he is everlastingness, and he has made us only for himself and restored us by his precious passion and always preserves us in his blessed love; and all this is of his goodness.

     

  • Spoiler Alert

    Tomorrow's service will be the first of the summer to offer two 'parallel' paths.

    The main service will be quiet and reflective, so the parallel is aimed at those who might perfer something active and tactile.  Whatever people choose is totally fine.

    Watch this space (so long as the platform stays up!!)