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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 9

  • Forty Days of Photos - Day 23

    This afternoon at our Drop In, we used some pictures of nativity scenes to guide our thoughts.  We had a good conversation, and some folk chose a picture to take home with them - the photo is those left afterwards.

    However, for me the more beautiful image was one I could not photograph, partly because the torrential rain and icy wind would have made it nigh on impossible, but more importantly because it would just have been exploitative and just plain wrong.

    Imagine, if you can, a man and woman dressed inadequately for the weather - he in a short wind-cheater type jacket, she in a brightly coloured anorak, unzipped, and worn over a thin summer dress.  Now imagine that he allows her to take his arm - despite being someone who avoids all physical contact - and walks, slowly, so slowly, with her along the rain-soaked street en route to a cafe where they will seek shelter and warmth, enjoy a hot drink and wait for the weather to improve.

    This is sacrficial love. 

    And this is what I witnessed this afternoon as one of our Friends from the Drop In acted, without a second thought, to care for another of them.

    As busy people rushed to pass them, barely glancing, en route to the warmth of their own homes, I found myself alert to the people that I hurtle past without a seoncd thought, just because I don't know them.

    In my mind's eye, as I walked behind, alongside, and finally in front of them, they could have been Mary and Joseph.  When we finally reached their destination, I held open the door of the cafe, another friend handed back to the woman a bag she had been carrying for her, and we left them in the warm fug of chip fat and damp clothes. I walked on, a little more humble, a little more thoughtful.

    Nativity scenes are always everso clean and tidy.  Today I was reminded by two vulnerable adults of the truth that it would have been 'anything but'.

  • Forty Days of Photos - Day 22

    Belated, and a bit of a cheat as it's a photo from today.  Mince pies are one of my favourite festive treats, so I bought a box to celebrate 21 years of call and 15 years since ordination.

    Celebration is, at least in some senses, the telos - 'goal' or 'end' - of Advent, so why not have a little bit along the way?  On such as wet, windy December evening, it feels good to munch a mince pie alongside supping a hot mug of tea. I think there is something postively 'OK' about celebrating cosiness and comfort food!

  • Anniversary of Call

    It's one of those God-things that my ordination took place exactly six years (less one day) from the day I heard, unequivocally, God call me to this path.  In the old days, 21 was 'the coming of age', so maybe my call is now all grown up?

    No reflection this time, just the passage of scripture through which God spoke so powerfully...

    2 Timothy 3:14 - 4:8

    But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

    In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

    As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.