Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Your accent betrays you!

Matthew 26:73-74

Your accent betrays you.
It is not so much in the northern brogue
which I have lost
so carefully and well
but in my heart.
So when caught out;
in the poshest way
betraying everything
I believe in, and the whole way I was raised;
I begin to swear.
Oh, f&*k!
Done it again.

The darkness of the night

Matthew 26:47-56

It is the darkness of the night
and I will kiss you
then betray you;
and you will still
call me friend
having done what I would do.
It is the darkness of the night

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

If it were not so

Thinking about John 14
(some will know which particular Georgian mansion this is, here, it featured prominently in my childhood)

The early part of this chapter is often read at funerals.
I guess it is meant to remind people that we do not just sink into oblivion when we die
But in the last few days I have had a different sense of this
Do not let your hearts be troubled
believe in God believe also in me
in my Father's house there are many mansions.
If it were not so
would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you.
I think we get distracted by the mansions!
(One of my friends is certain  that he wants a strictly Georgian mansion!!)
But for me it has been about dealing with anxiety...Do not let your hearts be troubled
And the key (Jesus is saying) is believe in God which also means believing in him
This rather emboldens me to remind people
that the way to address their uncertainty/anxiety
is to at least try to come to a place of belief.

I think we current mob of Christians (myself included)
have a lot to answer for in the way we have become timid
I have no doubt that I should be encouraging people who are troubled
to believe.

But it is perhaps the latter part that has been rich for me
in the last couple of weeks
(thank you Ignatius for such wonderful exercises!)
If it were not so...would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you
This is Jesus speaking to me  and you simply saying
do you think I am playing games with you?

And MY answer is No.

Lord I my unbelief!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Being bathed in love

In this week of the general season of the year one of the ideas that is presented to us is that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  
It is not necessarily an idea that Anglicans or Protestants readily warm to, smacking of pious pictures which are a bit too cheesy for most of us.
It is, however, an idea that most of us might find enriching. The open, welcoming Heart of God in which all can find a place of comfort, consolation, welcome, and healing.
It also has about it the idea that love flows out of God’s central being into the world, and we are invited to share in that work and be agents of it ourselves.

Two actions might focus us this week. 
First, where do we need to receive this tender touch of God. 
Pray each day for God’s healing, loving presence to flow into us from the heart of Jesus.

Second, no doubt we are also called to be a source of love to others, too. 
Who might that be? 
Is one act of kindness each day too much to expect of ourselves

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Touching the dead

 There are a few troublesome things about any story which deals with dead people being brought back to life!
The truth is that the experience is probably not as strange as we are inclined to think it is. I imagine that if we talked to each other for half an hour about our experiences of death we find quite a few strange things. Only a couple of weeks ago we had a funeral for a beloved parishioner who was told forty years ago that if he survived an operation then he would probably have ten years to live.
One of his sons joked that he delighted in proving people wrong.
Of course we also live in an unprecedented period of human history when people are living longer and surviving conditions which even in your life and mine were certain killers.
This is a source of great puzzlement to us
Where do we place ourselves in this story?
Let’s not get so puzzled by the supernatural in this story
It may be that this story tells us a human truth
that there is much about death that
we do not understand
and yet we are all engaged with it.
As we picture the story,
where do we identify our own need today?
Am I the young man
who looks and perhaps feels dead
and who is awaiting the Jesus touch.
If Jesus touched me what would I want that touch to do for me.
Am I the grieving woman
so bereft, perhaps by a recent death
that I need the consolation of Jesus?
Or am I one of the crowd who are just amazed
by what the presence of Jesus might mean at the time of death.
A wonderful story I read during the week told of a sister who whilst grieving for her own brother at age 40,
and praying that he might know the peace that we pray for in death
recognized that Jesus was also healing her too.
Can we be so open to death
that we allow Jesus to touch us in our own life
and experience resurrection now?

For thought and prayer and action

During this time we are trying to care for ourselves, to allow Jesus to touch the place where we might be dead

What do I want Jesus to do for me today?

Can I allow the work of resurrection to begin in me immediately?