Thursday, 26 November 2009
Although clearly these issues are of great importance for many (including the creator of this display in a Vancouver,) that is not what i want to engage with on this coming Friday evening.
As with Lent I try to do less rather than more in these traditionally penitential periods ... but it is very hard
(especially if you are a religious professional).
There is, for better or worse, a lot more to be doing around this time of year and much of it does not help me actually prepare for the depths of the Christmas experience. I'll try and do some more pruning over the next four weeks but i wonder what gets in the way on the way back to the manger?
Friday, 13 November 2009
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Sunday, 8 November 2009
"My friends are my estate.
Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them.
They tell me those who were poor early have different views of gold.
I don't know how that is.
God is not so wary as we,
else He would give us no friends,
lest we forget Him."
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Matthew Maynard is the man of the moment, helping the Police with their enquires but from a distance! The cheeky bit is the fact that he sent the newspaper a replacement photo of himself standing in front of a police van.
Friday, 6 November 2009
But really carol singing, at that time of night and Guy Fawkes hardly turned to a crisp.
Its enough to make you go 'bah humbug'.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Except that's not how it panned out. I was impressed with our welcome stewards ... they didn't panic ... they were indeed welcoming ... they invited the young people to come in (with or without bikes) ... many of them did ... and in fairness the boys were fairly respectful of what was going on (I was adding my welcome from the table, explaining what was happening and hastily editing the usual religious speak out of the liturgy). I took a certain 'theological risk' by letting them know that it was not my table or the church's table, I had no right to say who could come or not (some in church may not agree) it was the table of Jesus so if they wanted to participate they could. But it was the girls who were for messing about ... by which I don't mean surpressed giggles adn embarrassed shuffling of feet, it was deliberate disruption of the remainder of the service ... shouting ... mickey taking ... running around the balcony.
Now don't get me wrong ... there was no malicious damage ... no threatening behaviour ... just a lot of high spirits and disruptive messing about. What to do? We want to be welcoming and inclusive ... we want to be a missionary people who reach young people just like these for Christ ... you could pray for years before 15 young people would darken the door of a church today. I am not so dedicated a liturgist to think that the Communion must be preserved at all costs ... indeed in many ways it is the most effective symbolism we have for mission and it may have been that for some a connection there was made. I am also conscious that they may have been the Spirit's gift to us ... breaking our comfortable familiarity as surely as bread was lying broken on the table ... they may have been the gift we failed to unwrap or accept ... but in such a scenario ... when disruption is seemingly the only intent what is the right response?
The temptation of course is to focus on the ones causing disruption ... asking for some respect / (ie compliance with our norms), but surely the danger there is that we miss the one or two quieter people who were perhaps genuinely intrigued by what was going on. What to do? As they said in the 90s what would Jesus do?
What would you have done?