Thursday, 22 September 2011
All but in Christ we are all one
Leader We are extrovert and introvert
We live by sense and intuition
All Each of us is different
but in Christ we are all one
Leader We live by thought and feeling
Through judgement and perception
All Each of us is different
but in Christ we are all one
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Thursday, 9 December 2010
So it was I wanted to ask:
Monday, 6 December 2010
We have tested and tasted too much, lover-
Through a chink too wide there comes in no wonder.
But here in the Advent-darkened room
Where the dry black bread and the sugarless tea
Of penance will charm back the luxury
Of a child's soul, we'll return to Doom
The knowledge we stole but could not use.
And the newness that was in every stale thing
When we looked at it as children: the spirit-shocking
Wonder in a black slanting Ulster hill
Or the prophetic astonishment in the tedious talking
Of an old fool will awake for us and bring
You and me to the yard gate to watch the whins
And the bog-holes, cart-tracks, old stables where Time begins.
O after Christmas we'll have no need to go searching
For the difference that sets an old phrase burning-
We'll hear it in the whispered argument of a churning
Or in the streets where the village boys are lurching.
And we'll hear it among decent men too
Who barrow dung in gardens under trees,
Wherever life pours ordinary plenty.
Won't we be rich, my love and I, and
God we shall not ask for reason's payment,
The why of heart-breaking strangeness in dreeping hedges
Nor analyse God's breath in common statement.
We have thrown into the dust-bin the clay-minted wages
Of pleasure, knowledge and the conscious hour-
And Christ comes with a January flower.
posted by Craig Gardiner at 12:48 PM
Friday, 22 October 2010
My reflections with Roy Noble on BBC Radio Wales this week began with the very true story of my trip up North the other week. I had to go to
Ninety minutes later I was in the queue at
Suddenly I felt sure that everyone was laughing at the fool with the odd footwear. I tried to hide my feet beneath my bag but even though my mistake seemed glaringly obvious to me no-one said anything … not even the security guard who then asked me to remove both trainers. On the way back people were too preoccupied with talking into their mobiles to notice what was wrong with me or no-one thought it was their place to mention it.
That’s an amusing story for the pub but of course it’s trivial when compared with all that goes wrong in the world, particularly the economic cuts that have been announced this week. But my escapade reminded me that as austerity begins to really bite there will be much that may go seriously wrong in the lives of those around us. And whatever the politics involved in all this, the harsh reality will be that jobs will go, bills will lie unpaid, homes may go without heat and tables will be empty of food.
And the temptation for many will be to say or do nothing. Some of us who really need the help will be too embarrassed to say anything about what has gone so wrong. We may try to cover it up even though it may be through little fault of our own. And people who are better off may be too busy with their lives to see what has gone wrong for others, or feel it’s not their place to do anything about it.
The world’s religions have always argued that we should care for the weak and the vulnerable in our midst. The Psalms speak of God as father of the fatherless, defender of the widows. Jesus spoke of bringing good news to the poor. On a day that announces so many economic difficulties we should remember that the quality of our lives in these times of austerity will be measured not by how we survive but on how we care for one another.
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Friday, 8 October 2010
So while I want to live with no need of greed or hunger
With all the people sharing all the world as one
if it is to happen then I must not just dream about it
I must act and live not out of fear but in love
And maybe you will join me
Dear God help us to imagine a world
Where we do on earth
as it is done in heaven
And help us to believe
that such a world can be here today
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Another prayer from Radio 4 this week
On my desk is a cartoon of a man talking on his mobile telephone.
The caption reads:
I am just calling to make sure you got my e-mail following the letter I faxed this morning.’
For many of us calls like that will be all too familiar. Technology seems to drive our life at a pace that few people want but equally now we are communicating with such momentum that hardly anyone can resist or stop it. And amidst all this is a myriad of changing social protocols.
We wonder how long it is reasonable to wait for an email to be answered
If it is appropriate to text a partner telling them the relationship is over
And should we accept our boss’s invitation to be a friend on a social network site
In an age where we assume an eager audience is instantly interested with our status updates, where seemingly every emotional response to life is a matter of public record, and others are encouraged to add their comment, are there changing protocols on prayer?
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he began by telling them to go into their room and close the door and pray in private … for God who sees what is done in secret would then reward them. No-one else need know what they told their maker or what their Creator had said to them. Anticipating our lack of patience in such an endeavour, he quickly followed the words of the Lord’s Prayer with a parable on persistence … assuring us that if we ask, then it will be given and if we seek then we shall find.
Jesus does not confirm a timescale for heaven’s answer
Nor indeed the method by which it may be communicated
But he leaves us with the promise - that if we knock upon his door then it will be opened for us.
In this fast moving world of ours
Give us patience and persistence in our prayers
Open our hearts that we may hear you clearly speak today.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Sorry the blog has been silent for so long ... lots of interesting things have been happening, going to worship with the Pope in Westminster Abbey, Stuart Murray and Roy Searle on Celts, Anabaptists and New Monasticism, and flying to Newcastle with odd shoes on, but so often away from my computer that i've not blogged them later. Some of this will out in due course no doubt. Anyway if you are up early or like the radio 4 shipping forecast then you will have heard these prayers for the day already ... I am doing this week's prayers ... so playing catch up a bit ... here's the one from 2nd Oct.
Sorry the blog has been silent for so long ...
lots of interesting things have been happening, going to worship with the Pope in Westminster Abbey, Stuart Murray and Roy Searle on Celts, Anabaptists and New Monasticism, and flying to Newcastle with odd shoes on, but so often away from my computer that i've not blogged them later. Some of this will out in due course no doubt.
Anyway if you are up early or like the radio 4 shipping forecast then you will have heard these prayers for the day already ... I am doing this week's prayers ... so playing catch up a bit ... here's the one from 2nd Oct.
Today is the 60th birthday of Peanuts, the celebrated cartoon strip penned for so many years by Charles Schultz.
Charlie Brown and Snoopy may be the stars, but I love an episode that featured two other characters, Lucy and Linus.
They were talking about a baby called Sally.
She is pictured crawling slowly round the room and Lucy, frustrated at the baby’s lack of progress, asks ‘When will Sally start walking?
Linus replies,‘Let her crawl;
once you’ve started walking
you’re committed for a lifetime.’
There are not many things that people will commit to for a life time now.
We might give a year or two to this hobby or that job,
we may devote time to living in a certain city
or even to a particular religion,
but so much these days seems subject to the
possibility of moving on to something else.
We are often reluctant to dedicate ourselves like this because we fear if we do so
then we might be loosing out on something else
maybe something better.
But this is exactly what is needed if we are to make a difference in the world ...
if we are to see any real change in ourselves.
Many people liked Jesus when it was easy and exciting, but he needed disciples who would still be loyal when things got tough. When a would-be disciple asked to go and say good-bye to his family before signing up for good, Jesus told him straight: No-one who starts following me and then looks back is ready for where I am going.
Tough words, I know, But in a world of seemingly infinite choices, we need the courage to make tough decisions and know that we will remain steadfast for a life time.
Dear God, all of us are tempted to look over our shoulder
To wonder with regret at what might have been
Give us the courage today
To start walking towards the future you have prepared for us
Help us to be faithful for the life-time of that journey. Amen.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
When I was a child my dad used to let me stay up late to watch the war-time programme Secret Army. It was a lot more serious than the hilarious Dad’s Army, much more like the classic Colditz, for which I had the Action Man figures and the Board Game.
Even though it won Seven Oscars, one war movie that was not for viewing in our house was The Bridge over the River Kwai. It carried painful associations for members of our family and it was always switched off. The film tells the story of Allied Prisoners of War forced to build a bridge by their brutal (and brutalised) Japanese Guards.
Years later, when I was actually working in
I’ve been thinking of those conversations recently and of the cultural clichés we exposed and left behind, because today
Because if the first casualty in war is truth, if propaganda encourages us to see the other people as being somehow less human than we are, then the first victory of peace should be for us to see each others as equal partners in a shared and redeemed humanity.
And maybe that’s why Jesus told us to love our enemies.
I think it was a challenge even in the midst of conflict
for us to see ourselves in others,
to value in them the identical image of God that lives in every one
And so for all we humans are different,
we’re really just the same
And I hope onm VJ Day we don’t remember just the victory of some
and the defeat of others
I hope we celebrate the chance for peace to overcome in the hearts of everyone.