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  • Wedded Bliss!

    It's been a while since I posted anything, partly because I have been otherwise occupied, partly because other platforms seem to be more urgent these days.

    Anyway, last Friday afternoon was one of pure joy as I had the privilege of conducting the marriage of a young couple in the Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow.

    Covid restrictions resulted in relatively small numbers attending, and social distancing meant the place felt quite full, as everyone was so well spread out.  There were no hymns and no solo singers, just some lovely organ music, beautiful poetry and a couple pledging their lifelong loyalty and love.

    It was a once strange and totally normal to be in a place with fifty people (the last time I did so was March 2020) and the atmosphere was just one of love, hope, joy and grace.  The chapel staff were really accommodating, and the photographer and videographer so inconspicuous.  The sun shone, the bride was both radiant and beautiful, the groom handsome.  It really was an afternoon of bliss.

  • The Kingdom of God is like...

    Today's Lectionary invited us to set alongside each other two images - the tall, beautiful, strong cedar tree (35-40m tall, evergreen, wood and oil much prized) and the small, ugly, not so strong mustard plant (1-1.5m tall, often seen almost as a weed).

    In each image (Ezekiel and Mark) the tree becomes a safe refuge for birds (and other species).

    Jesus seems to be saying, that the Kingdom is like a pernicious weed, that is almost impossible to get rid of, and that seeds in amongst other plants (in contravention of Leviticus 19:19) destroying purity.

    So what are we to make of this?

    The Kingdom of God is low-level, spread widely at grass roots level, transforms all it interacts with and, eventually will take over.  Here, in this unlikely, untidy, organic, powerless muddle, is peace, reconiliation and hope to be found.

    I wonder, if it's a valid reading, what we do with that?

  • More than the sum of the parts

    As my staycation draws towards its close (two days left!), I finally completed the jigsaw I bought as a holiday project.  With a lot of assistance from the kitties, it was finished this morning - the final hundred or so pieces of 'sky' keeping me occupied for several hours.

    I think the jigsaw is a wonderful metaphor in many ways, with all the sifting and sorting, fitting and puzzling.  And it takes a long time - this thousand piece puzzle has taken many, many hours, sometimes with quick progress, sometimes hardly an at all.  And then, when it's finished, and I sat back to admire it, Sophie decided she needed to do a few checks before taking a nap right in the centre of it.  Well, why not, a cat snoozing on a picture of cats.

    This past couple of weeks the River Clyde has been the 'stunt double' for the Tiber, the Seine, the Danube and the Vltava, as I pretended to visit various places around the world.  I baked a Dobos Torte (Hungarian) and Oggies (Welsh/Cornishpasties); I made spanikopita (Crete) and pea cakes (Malta).  Some of the baking was shared with others.  All sorts of bits and pieces that somehow came together to make a meaningful and enjoyable staycation. Definitely more than the sum of the parts.

    Now that we are once more allowed out of the city, I may venture further afield for the last couple of days, but I may also simply take a couple of days to rest - after all I have visited a lot of countries in the last fortnight!