Lent is rapidly approaching... and this year I've decided to join in with the "Forty Acts" thingy, whereby each day you are invited to perform an act of generosity or kindness... it's not "religious" it's about shared humanity, shared values, so worth considering if you are still "stuck" deciding what to take up or give up for Lent this year...
by Paul Field, is a song to which I return from time to time, and which came to mind again today as I was reading the chapters of the book "The Bad Christian's Manifesto" by Dave Tomlinson that our Deacons will be discussing as part of our devotional time at our meeting this evening.
It was one of those mad ideas, I can't even recall where it came from now, except I was chatting to one of the Deacons and mentioned the idea of reading a book together, and they suggested this recently published work.
I think it's been a good experience so far - it will have taken us around six months by the time we get to the end of it, so a lot of commitment to stick with it and recall what we've read. We don't all agree with each other or with everything in the book, and that's the point really. We are theologising together, talking about the stuff of faith and doubt, the messyness of real life and the Christ who enters and transforms all of that.
Tonight I am going to use some pictures and two muscial tracks... "One of Us" by Joan Osborne and "God of the Moon and Stars" by Paul Field...
This whizzy new design allows me to add a banner photo - but actually it's a fairly narrow strip of a photo in practice. So I chose part of my Dibley Dandelion which is somehow a metaphor for ministry and mission... uncontrollable as the Holy Spirit, dandelions and thistles thrive in unexpected places, and send forth their seeds on the wind, not sure where they will go or if they will take root, but doing so anyway. I kind of hope that my life's work, and indeed this blog, involves wafting some dandelion seeds into the world where some of them just may take root, grow, and seed again for a new generation...
Today's PAYG was on part of the creation story. The thing that struck me most was when the reflection said:
You are a mircale
You are here because God wanted you to exist
I know a lot of people who, for one reason or another, are at present questioning their own worth, maybe becuase of age or infirmity, education or employment, decisions or disasters. All of us, even those who are feeling generally content can benefit from a little bit of encouragement. And this seems to make a nice mantra for today:
I am a miracle
I am here because God wants me to exist
May God bless us all with the wonder of believing that truth