By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

- Page 5

  • Jesus and the Giant Sheep

    219.JPGFour of our flock gather round the infant Jesus from our nativity set...

  • Second Week of Advent: Thursday

    Today's PAYG used Isaiah 41: 13 - 20 as its basis for reflection.  It's an odd passage with weird imagery, but what struck me was the line that ran, “Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel, puny mite. I will help you – it is the Lord who speaks – the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer.”

    A poor worm, a puny mite... the lowest and mostly lowly creatures, barely observed, rarely valued, overlooked and ignored.  Worms and mites get a pretty bad press I think, which is not entirely deserved, as a TV programme I watched yesterday evening powerfully demonstrated.

    Sometimes I expect we do feel a bit like the puny, poor, unnoticed, wrongly perceived mini-beasts alluded to in the reading.  Sometimes our best endeavours seem pretty pathetic.  Sometimes we ridicule the best endeavours of others.  But the promise remains... God promises to help the least of all.


    Help us to hear your promise, God

    That you are not only aware of us

    And all our struggles



    But that you will help us

    Will redeem us

    Will reconcile us

    Will renew and refresh us


    Poor worm,

    Puny mite...

    God's good creation,

    Loved by God



  • Just for Fun

    This chuckle inducing picture is doing the rounds just now...

    funny angels.jpg

  • Second Week of Advent: Wednesday

    For those keeping count, today we are as near as makes very little odds half way through Advent.  December 12th - twelve 'windows' opened on the Advent Calendar, half the daily graduations burned down on the single candle, and so on.

    And of course it's one of those dates that people get excited about... 12/12/12.  At twelve minutes past twelve (or as near as I can manage) I will be meeting up with folk from our Coffee Club for our annual Christmas meal.  The official meet time is 12:15 but some of us kind of fancied 12:12...

    What is it about this kind of calendar coincidence that captures our attention?  I recall the so-called auspicious date of 8/8/88 on which Princess Beatrice was born.  I recall the wibbly feeling around the end of the twentieth century and the so-called millennium bug... was had to test all our software to make sure it would not keel over at or after 9/9/99 (for those old enough to remember things like FORTRAN, 99 and 999 were popular line numbers for coding complex routines;) and then of course the 00:00 01/01/00 and would all the planes fall out of the sky or some other preventable catastrophe...

    Some people are saying this is the last such date we will ever see (on the grounds that by 1st January 2101 we'll all be dead) others are saying the next one is next week as we reach 20/12/2012.

    Well, whatever we may think, and however amusing or intriguing it all is (I recall signing off about fifty documents on 9/9/99) basically it is just another day, and the numbers an almost arbitrary system for recording things we judge significant.

    There is nothing new in observing that the first Advent went unmarked, that even for the first four hundred years or so Advent did not exist.  Perhaps it is good to be reminded of that today, half way to Bethlehem. To recall that for all our systems and superstitions, we cannot predict or restrict God's potential to burst into our experiences afresh.

    Advent is helpful, otherwise why would I be writing all this stuff, but we need to be careful lest it becomes either one more box-ticking exercise or inappropriately overlaid with folk-religion.


    Timeless God

    Beyond counting or containing

    Who breathed order into disorder

    And gave form to creation

    Help us both to delight in the patterns and rhythms of the natural world

    And to recognised our propensity to make more of them than they really are


    As we journey onwards

    In the ordinary everyday stuff of life

    Alert us to hints of the extraordinary

    That will surprise and delight us afresh


  • Second Week in Advent: Tuesday

    After yesterday's frenetic activity, today has been much more gentle in pace - maybe my prayer was answered and I did, to an extent, 'cease' (and yes, Jane, be reminded that I am not God!).  A lovely time with my house guests, who treated me to dinner out last night, and who have now continued further north to see other of their friends who live in Scotland.

    An expensive day - £58 for stamps to send the cards that have too far to travel for me to hand deliver them, £18 to send three parcels, and quite a bit on organising delivery of other gifts via internet sites.  But that's more of less it done now.  The commercial, expensive (very) can be ticked off, and I can centre more fully on the 'reason for the season'

    A beautiful day - clear blue sky and crisp frost on grass and trees.  Winter can be such a gift, if we have the will to indulge ourselves and enjoy it, whether it is delighting in the cold air or snuggling in the warmth of home.


    Thank you God for this day:

    For the clear blue sky and sparkling white frost

    For the taste of apricot jam on warm croissants

    For shared conversations and the making of memories

    For the ability to pay for stamps to send greetings to farway places

    For colourful wrapping paper and sturdy carboard boxes

    For spaces and places to enjoy your good creation


    Thank you God,

    That whilst we are preoccupied

    With packing and posting

    And buying and writing

    And endless other preparations,

    You simply carry on




    And declaring your work

    To be good