Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Prayer of Lament

My last blog was about Lament and Rejoicing. I spoke about the mournful memories of past and the reflection on tragedies and injustices whilst as Christians, we remember that there is a "city on the hill" and we have hope.

In that Blog I was reflecting on the Jewish commemoration known as Tisha b'Av - remembering the destructions of the Temples in Jerusalem, both Solomon's Temple destroyed by the Assyrians and the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans.

I also reflected on the commemoration of one of the most hideous battles of the First World War, that took place a century ago - the Battle of Paschendaele - where a quarter of a million lives were lost. Yes ultimately the Germans surrendered and the Allied forces one, but it was an horrendous war and that was a particularly horrendous battle.

I also reflected on the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that partially decriminalised homosexual activity - a good thing - but also a marker that things were not good an…

Lament and Rejoicing.

Philippians 4:4 clearly is a command to Rejoice - Always. How is that humanly possible - especially when faced with the terrible things that happen that can only be described as tragic. How does the believer marry these two seemingly polar opposite responses to what life throws at us.

There is in the Bible the Hebrew book of Lamentations - which is read during the fast day of Tisha b'Av (9th of Av [Hebrew Month]) It is a period of Mourning for observant Jews, when they mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. On Tisha b'Av (Wednesday 2nd August 2017) It begins at sunset of the previous evening, when we gather in the synagogue to read the Book of Lamentations. Besides fasting, we abstain from additional pleasures: washing, applying lotions or creams, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Until midday, we sit on the floor or on low stools.

We also know that Jews commemorate the terrible evil of the 20th Century - the Holocaust. This is also an annual looking back…

Boundary Marker

Wednesday evening and time for Vespers at St Mary's. However this was different. Along with the usual, wonderful calming tunes that permeate the environment, and the sound of the bells and the ringers practice their changes, this Wednesday had a visual component, the work of two local artists. Christine had an installation that explored the link between clothing and boundaries. It was the words "boundaries, real or imagined" that caught my imagination. I thought about the many boundaries that exist. Particularly our imagined boundaries. Or maybe not imagined, maybe they really do exist, in our own minds. 


Boundary Marker Where is your boundary marker?
What is your boundary marker?  A row of pebbles, or a painted line in the street?  A fence topped with barbed wire,  A brick wall with broken glass, set in concrete?
Is there an entry or an exit, or is it entirely enclosed? Is it it a sanctuary, a place of safety and solace, Or are you serving a sentence, self-imposed-  Of s…

Yesod - Connection/Belonging

Connection

Counting the Omer, usually it goes from Passover to Tabernacles, but I have decided to "Count the Omer" from Easter to Pentecost. 
Well,we reached the end of the second last week yesterday and the focus for last week was:
Yesod (יְס֖וֹד)which is translated as "Foundation" which is the attribute assigned to God. The emotional quality in humans linked to Yesod is "Connection" 
What follows is my thoughts on Connection:
I saw a Tweet which asked the question, 'Is loneliness a cause of mental illness. 94% of the approximate 700 respondents said it was. 

Loneliness is not simply the lack of company. If it were there would be a simple and straightforward solution - find company. Put all the lonely people in a room together and they wouldn't be lonely any more.? Company can relieve the pain of loneliness for a while, but it is not a lasting or permanent solution. 

I believe that at the core of loneliness is the loss of connection. The feeling that &q…

Flies in the face

It flies in the face
Of the Gospel of Grace
To turn to your neighbour and say
If you're not straight,
Trad-married or celibate
Then Jesus won't have you today.

Take the Good News to every creature
That is what Jesus told us to do,
So that they may know God, trust God
And be God's child too.

God, by the Spirit  leads the way
And as God's disciples, we follow.
We know that the journey through life can be slow
We are not perfect; we stumble and over we go
Over and over again.
But God  loves us so much he  helps us to keep going on.

Jesus is gentle,  Jesus is kind;
When we take our  time to rise up
And dust ourselves down
He does not mind.
Jesus always helps us to our feet
Dabs our eyes dry and
Leads us by the hand.

Why do we make a fuss
When others who follow are not like us?
Why do you insist
That everyone subscribe to your list
Of don'ts or dos,  of this or that?
It's salvation but with a caveat.

Our pattern-maker is Jesus Christ
Who came to give us eternal life…