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Eleven days into 2016 already so how are the resolutions going? Or perhaps, if you are like me, you don't bother about them any more, settling for a renewed resolve to make adjustments to priorities, behaviour or interests instead... At New Year there was an...
Watching the TV news can be depressing. Every week it seems we are confronted by yet another horror story – terrorists, refugees, relentless global warming, etc It is hard to take it all in and make sense of it.
That is why Advent season is so heartwarming. As Anne Atkins reminded us on Thought for the Day this morning: The darker the darkness the brighter the light…This darkness will not be the end.
Coming to terms with the terrible carnage in Paris is not easy for any of us. We are shaken to the core and struggle to find any meaning in such horrific events. ‘Where is God in all this?’ we ask – and no answer seems to come back. This poem from Jan Richardson may be of help…
Blessing in a Time of Violence
Which is to say this blessing is always.
Which is to say there is no place this blessing does not long to cry out in lament,
to weep its words in sorrow, to scream its lines in sacred rage.
It is that time of year again when Christian face a dilemma – to join in Halloween celebrations, or to ignore them. It is most difficult for parents with children: they don’t want to spoil the fun, nor do they want to feel their children are left out in spite of their own reservations.
So what’s the problem? It begins with an understanding of what lies behind Halloween – and the day that follows it – All Saints Day. The latter is a day set aside by the church to remember the saints – and all those who have been martyred for their faith. It is a celebration of good.
Was it fair? we were asked. No! It was an unfair contest. We shared Simon’s frustration.
Yvonne then described how this was the way it is with unfair trade. Poorer countries have the resources, their farmers work hard against the odds, but they stand little chance in the world market – unless we help. It’s just not fair!…. Thankfully there are agencies like Traidcraft….
Monarchs often have had a reputation of being tyrants, consumed by power and exercising great control.
But not Elizabeth. Just the opposite in fact. Hers has been a reign marked out by service of the highest degree. That was her choice, right from the day in 1952 when she made her commitment to serve her people – with God’s help.
It is perhaps this serving role more than any other that has endeared her to so many, both at home and across the world.
We possibly feel discouraged more often than we would like to admit. People seem to have a habit of disappointing us - or not being sensitive to our particular needs of the moment... We could easily blame our culture for this. 'Stiff upper...
A silly question? Actually it is a very good one, although most church-goers would think the answer is obvious… Jesus always accepted people with open arms – and so should we.
Anyone can go, regardless of who you are, how you dress, what you believe, etc. But maybe that is not the impression that is given…
The most significant challenge before us is to recapture in our own particular settings the deep-seatedness of Jesus’ teaching on children. Children are not only minor but equal sharers with adults in the life of faith; they are not only to be formed but to be imitated; they are not just uninformed but capable of receiving spiritual insight; they are not ‘just’ children but representatives of Christ.
I didn’t buy a card this year because I don’t have a father any more. But I have good memories that I treasure – just me and Dad together.