As part of the evening service yesterday we were invited to go out in twos for a 20 minitues 'Emmaus Road Walk' to reflect on scriptures from other two other faiths, Hinduim and Buddhism.
My co-disciple and I opted to walk in the Botanic Gardens where we happened upon a beautifully yarn-bombed bench - and he took a photo with me stting on it 'looking ponderous'!!
We jokingly suggested we should create a super-spiritual reflection on how the colours represented the diversity of human experience and how, when woven together they result in a more beautiful whole... but of course with lots of adjectives and superlatives before ending up with the word 'bench'.
It was an interesting way to spend an evening - in the right sense of the word - and certainly our conversations were valuable as we discussed the allocated texts. But the real 'Emmaus' moment was the bench - the unexpected moment of joy and beauty, fun and laughter that broke us out of the earnest, repsectful conversation about impossibly demanding texts.
That the photo is slightly out of focus seems appropriate - a fleeting moment, not full realised, even on reflection.
Two Revs were walking in the Gardens by evening, discussing among themselves ancient texts of other faiths, when suddenly the God of Surprises did just that...
My vicar-school was called Luther King House, named in honour of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
I discovered this week that a hymn was written for the occasion when 'The Partnership for Theolgoical Education, Manchester' (PTEM) formally brought together Baptists, Congegationalists, Methodists, United Reformed Church and Unitarians. The story of PTEM is one of joy and sorrow, challenge and change; the values of this hymn continue to inspire all that is attempted...
‘I have a dream’, a man once said, ‘where all is perfect peace: Where men and women, black and white, Stand hand in hand and all unite In freedom and in love.’
But in this world of bitter strife The dream can often fade: Reality seems dark as night, We catch but glimpses of the light Christ sheds on humankind.
Fierce persecution, war and hate are raging everywhere: through struggles and through sacrifice God's people pay the costly price of standing for the right.
So dream your dreams, and sing your songs, But never be content; For thoughts and words don’t ease the pain: Unless there’s action, all is vain Faith proves itself in deeds.
Lord, grant us vision, make us strong, and help us do your will; nor let us rest until we see your love throughout humanity uniting us in peace
Pam Pettitt (c) P Pettitt
PS the best tune to sing it is 'Repton' (Dear Lord and Father of mankind/us all')