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  • Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land (a sermon in summary)

    Yesterday's service theme was chosen back in September, when we agreed it was important to offer a '(post) Brexit response'.  Of course Brexit Day came and went and no exit happened.  But the theme was good and we kept it.

    The truth is, Brexit or no Brexit, we inhabit a 'strange land' in which democracy is creaking and breaking, the future of any union of nations or nation-states is precarious and people of faith are trying to work out how they should be and behave.

    As I said yesterday, there's nothing new to say, we all know the The Great Commandment and the maxim that 'faith without deeds is dead'.  Yet something needs to be said.

    So here's what we ended up with...

    Poets (Psalm 137) - from time immemorial songs and poems have helped people make sense of experience, to lament, to rage, to rejoice and to dream... who are our poets?

    Prophets (Isaiah 12) - grumpy people who see the world 'as with the eyes of God' declaim what is wrong and what will happen if things don't change, and dare to dream a brighter future in line with God's new creation... who are our prophets?

    Pragmatists (James 2) - practical people who get things done, who ground dreams in reality, who get on with it... who are our pragmatists?

    Pastors - recognising that sometimes we just want to be looked after, for someone to say nice things and make us feel better... and the reality that each and all of us has a pastoral role to encourage and support... who might I pastor, who might we pastor? Who are we pastored by?

    People of God - and the Teresa of Avila's saying 'Christ has no body now but yours' - we are the Body of Christ, so it's down to us to turn the songs, the dreams, the plans and the care into reality, to live out our prayers, transforming the strange land.


  • Hmmm....

    Today was care Home Chaplaincy Day, and I have to admit I really had to psyche myself up to go... it was a cold (and eventually drizzly) morning and I really wasn't in the best frame of empathic mind/heart.  Still, I pulled myself together, reminded myself it wasn't about me, and off I set.

    As I arrived and signed in, the receptionist asked my name.  Do you remember S, she asked?  She, I said, A's son, how is he? He left these calendars for 'the minister' and it must be you, you were the ine who visited his mum. She died a few months ago.  I was fond of her.  In a way, I miss her.  And today, when I needed a little bit of a lift, there was a gift from her son.

    Since my last visit a full half dozen people of those I visited have 'been promoted to glory,' and new ones have taken most, though not all, of their places. A's former room, full last time, is now empty again.

    I had some jolly chats with new-to-me people, was told not to bother by another, and caught up with a few of my regulars.

    In the end, it was a good morning, charactersied by grace, and once more humbling.

  • Lest We Forget...

    There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:13

    Military and civilian
    Volunteer and conscript
    All faiths and none
    'Good' ideology or 'bad'
    'Us' and 'them'
    Freedom fighters
    Injustice challengers
    Peace seekers
    Peace keepers
    Peace makers

    Lest we forget - and in forgetting are doomed to repeat the worst of which we are capable.

  • Lest we Forget

    Not my handiwork, an image found online of three poppies

    Red for Remembrance

    White for peace

    Purple for animals in the service of humans during conflict

    Whichever, if any, you choose to wear, or not to wear, it's important that we don't forget but instead allow the remembering to inform our today, and to shape the tomorrow for those who come after us..

  • Remembrance Preparations...

    I came across this poem/prayer which I think is worth pondering...


    Lord, we give you thanks for the gift of tears:

    For tears of grief, redeeming our mourning from despair;

    For tears of anger, awakening our thirst for justice;

    For tears of laughter, celebrating our joy in living.


    May the light of Christ shining through our tears

    Become a rainbow of your promise,

    Shedding colours of your love's bright presence

    In your grieving, struggling, laughing world.

    (Author unknown)