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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 8

  • Everyday God

    I learned this song last night - the idea of an 'everyday God' is as mind-blowing as it is simple and grounded...

    Earth's creator, Everyday God,
    Loving Maker, O Jesus,
    You who shaped us, O Spirit,
    Recreate us, Come, be with us.

    In your presence, Everyday God,
    We are gathered, O Jesus,
    You have called us, O Spirit,
    To restore us, Come, be with us.

    Life of all lives, Everyday God,
    Love of all loves, O Jesus,
    Hope of all hopes, O Spirit,
    Light of all lights, Come, be with us.

    In our resting, Everyday God,
    In our rising, O Jesus,
    In our hoping, O Spirit,
    In our waiting, Come, be with us.

    In our dreaming, Everyday God,
    In our daring, O Jesus,
    In our searching, O Spirit,
    In our sharing, Come, be with us.

    God of laughter, Everyday God,
    God of sorrow, O Jesus,
    Home and shelter, O Spirit,
    Strong and patient, Come, be with us.

    Way of freedom, Everyday God,
    Star of morning, O Jesus,
    Timeless healer, O Spirit,
    Flame eternal, Come, be with us.

    Word of gladness, Everyday God,
    Word of mercy, O Jesus,
    Word of friendship, O Spirit,
    Word of challenge, Come, be with us.

    Gentle father, Everyday God,
    Faithful brother, O Jesus,
    Tender sister, O Spirit.
    Loving mother, Come, be with us.

    Our beginning, Everyday God,
    Our unfolding, O Jesus,
    Our enduring, O Spirit,
    Journey's ending, Come, be with us.

    Alleluia, Everyday God,
    Now and always, O Jesus,
    Alleluia, O Spirit,
    Through all ages, Come, be with us.

  • Retreating and Reflecting

    It's been a curious couple of days, all of which as largely taken the form of 'retreat' and during which, more than anything else has come a sense that God delights in me, is pleased with me and simply wants me to be me.  As I said to the retreat accompanier on Tuesday evening, I do Proddy guilt really well, am good at feeling I should work harder, better, smarter, that I should be more holy, more spiritual, more disciplined etc. etc.  And in amongst it all God was saying, so it seems, 'just be you.'

    The picture is a doodle on that theme, colours chosen because I like them, swirls (spirals) of reflection and integration, a dandelion clock which is a symbol a friend and I share which captures something of God's Sophia Ruach active in uncontrollable ways, red shoes because red shoes (obviously)... and other stuff that matters only to me, and means stuff only to me.

    So, being me means...

    Continuing to learn what it means to be a prophetic, poetic, pragmatic, preaching pastor - a challenging blend if ever there was one.

    Continuing the work of using language other than male power language for God

    Giving expression to the creativity God has blessed me with, in places and spaces where that is safe and helpful for me and for others

    Something about non-striving, about enjoying and celebrating my spirituality for what it is

    And continuing to be the minister to the Gatherers for any foreseeable future.

     

    At the 24 hour ministers' retreat we were asked to reflect on 'how have I changed (in the last five years)' and 'what does God required of me'.

    In essence, I am the same person I was five years ago but, shaped by some painful and difficult experiences, and having worked hard to explore and address those, I am far more at peace with myself (and with others). 

    As to what God requires of me - apart from the obvious Great Commandment and Micah Challenge - simply to be 'me', not trying to conform or comply, not worrying, whinging or whittling, but instead delighting in who I am and all that God enables me to be.

     

     

  • Glorious...

    It was a beautiful sunsrise this morning, and although I cannot adeqautely capture it in a photo, nonethless, something of it is here.

    The next few days I will be 'out of circulation' but hardly in active!

    This evening it's a 'retreat evening' for my Ignatian course, and then it's off to Pitlochry for two days to reflect on what it means to be a minister here and now, in this place, at this time.  The it's a long weekend 'off' when I will meet with others to edit the book project we've been working on this year - the first and also pretty much the final edit.

    Then it'll be Advent, or thereabouts, so look out out for more regular posting during December.

  • 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.