Monday, 28 November 2011

The Wildman and the Carpenter

In the beginning there was nothing
In the beginning there was God:
Creator, Word and Spirit
In the beginning God created

And out of all that good creation
came much that was good and pure and beautiful
And into that good creation
came darkness, pain, wickedness and ugliness
God looked at his creation and decided to give it a new beginning
A new start
Another chance
So into that mixture of good and evil
Dark and light
Beauty and ugliness
He sent his Word –
and the Word took on flesh and dwelt with creation to show a new way

The Word dwelt exactly as one of God’s ordinary people;
created, growing, learning,
developing personality, hopes, fears, emotions,
temptations and expectations

The Word was fully human – a boy who grew into a young man,
who developed characteristics and his own idiosyncrasies

The Word was God
The Word was man – everyman;
Son of Man
Sent to teach and to inspire

He waited some 30 years or so, learning about the ways of humanity
Living and loving
And then, he went to the wilderness and met with the man of the wilds
Who baptised him with water

The wild man was the last great prophet
He knew he would herald the beginning of the end,
and the end of the beginning
He was not the Messiah,
but he pointed the way
And the Word was recognised
And the Word fulfilled his destiny

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Minister & Mum

Today I got to be Minister & Mum.
Now, of course I was a Mum long before I was a minister, and in the six years I've been a minister I didn't stop being a Mum. But today, for the first time my roles overlapped in a way they haven't before.
Today I confirmed my Son!!
And as he stood and made his promises I was a Mum with a proud tear in her eye; and as he knelt and I placed my hand on his head my voice cracked a little.
What an Amazing and Awesome experience - I love my boys greatly - as Mothers do - today my heart just swelled to bustin'!!!
I had always wondered how I would fit the two roles together, Minister and Mum: usually proud Mum is there in the backrgound, holding back the tears and smiling with joy; but keeping that all together whilst fulfilling my public role was not at all how I imagined it.
I always thought I'd want someone else to do the 'ministry' bit when my family was involved -whatever the occasion was: hadn't actually considered that it would be me.

But today I got a new insight: God our Father & Mother and the joy and pride he has in all His precious children when they too proclaim their faith; make a commitment; declare their promises:
God's Love - the Love of a Proud Parent
Minister & Mum & Proud!!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

remembering and forgetting

I am resigned to the fact that although I started off writing at least weekly, life has a way of catching up, and so long as I am able to write approximately monthly I can live with that!

We have reached that time of year when we are remembering: remembering the past and allowing it to inform the future.
I have talked about it to older people and to children; I have still to preach on it, to summarise it for a crowd and to speak to High School students.

If we view forgiveness as being coupled with forgetting - how are we able to move on as we remember?
I have thought about this often over the years, and more so again this year. Forgiveness is bitter sweet; it needs to be given, and it also needs to be received.
The specifics need to be forgotten to allow healing
What we remember is the why & the what
Why was it necessary
Why did we believe it was worth it?
What has been acheived?
What is the outlook for the future?

We in Britain, in the Western World, may be seen as meddlers in other people's problems
As arrogant dictators who think they have all the answers.
We impose our worldview on others and expect them to abandon their culture, their context, their society, for the bright shiny Western Ways - oh how arrogant we can be!!

Yet, what we fight for is what we fought for more than half a century ago - freedom to be ourselves; freedom to make our own choices; freedom to live as we wish.

To move forward we need to leave behind the accusations; forgive and forget - but remember the price that has been paid: lives laid down.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends

The ones who paid that price are ageless, timeless - forever young

We who remain remember the sacrifice and embrace the freedom

Lest we forget:

Take up your quarrel with the foe;
to you from failing hands we throw
the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.