Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Known

Psalms 139:11-14
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.

Known
Known and loved
This, O God,
Creator
Redeemer
This is your promise
That we are known 
and loved
Even in our darkness
you hold out
the promise of light
In a world in which
that which you created
goes unvalued 
uncherished 
where human life itself
rests on the whim
of an Instagram poll,
your will, O God
is for so much more.
Your love knows no limits
Show us how to value life - 
our own
and others’
May we know
and may we share
your love
beyond our wildest imagination
Known
Known and loved

A reflective prayer written after hearing of the death of a Malaysian teenager by suicide after asking her Instagram followers to vote on whether she should live or die.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Seen


Seen
Like Zaccheus in the sycamore tree
Like the woman at the well
Like the woman caught in adultery
Like the blind man on the road to Jericho
Like the woman who touched the hem of his garment
Like Levi son of Alphaeus sitting by his booth
Like James and John mending their nets
Like Mary sitting by his feet
And Martha busy being host
Like the women at the cross
Like Mary at the tomb
Like the disciples on the Emmaus Road
Some named
Some unnamed
All seen
Seen
Not for their potential
But for their unique created being
Made in the image of God
Seen
by the one who sees beyond
by the one who sees and loves
May you know the wonder
of being seen today.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Post Conference


The melancholy 
of the empty conference space
When folk have left
and the buzz of voices
raised in debate 
and encouragement
in bewilderment 
and aha moments
is silent for now.
The screen is blank
and the room settles back
into its inanimate state.
When the adrenaline rush has subsided
and the rapidly firing brain cells
striving to ensure
that everything is covered
and that no one
is left behind
slowly begin to rest
and recover..
And there is time to breathe
and gain some equilibrium
for just a moment
before it’s time
to turn around
and do it all again.
This is mostly
Living the dream!

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Come and have breakfast

John 21:12
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”

“Come and have breakfast.”
Really, Lord?
You invite me for breakfast?
In the early morning
When I’m not altogether.
When I have serious bed head going on
- not to mention morning breath...
“Come and have breakfast.”
When I’m still coming to
Thinking of all that the day holds
Fearing that I’m not up to the task...
“Come and have breakfast.”
In that fragile hour
between sleeping and waking
You bring intimacy
into my vulnerability
You sit with me
Minister to me
Materially and spiritually
- one and the same for you...
“Come and have breakfast.”
And in that shared moment
You breathe peace
You breathe forgiveness
You breathe identity
Life itself
Calling me
your disciple
Calling me
to feed your sheep.
“Come and have breakfast.”

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Rejoice in the Lord

Philippians 3:1
Finally, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.

The temptation proved too much
Early morning
A deserted play park
- a family of bunnies the only audience
and a zip slide
inviting play.
I grabbed the swing
hauled it up onto the platform
climbed on
whizzed down the hill
and experienced joy.
Joy that comes 
from breaking free 
and from the assurance
of  belovedness
Joy that bubbles up
and cannot be contained.
Joy that overspills
into the day ahead.
Joy that continues
to break forth
at odd moments of the day
in the midst of sacred work.
Joy that leads to thanksgiving
for opportunity
for impulsiveness
and for the freeing
life-giving
Spirit of God.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Grief demands space

Luke 24:36
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

The disciples huddled together
Behind closed doors
Walking a day’s journey
Fishing on the lake
Or in locations not disclosed
Nursing their hurt
Burying their hope
While the whispers
And the rumours
And the women’s idle tales
gathered pace
Their grief demanded
that they pay attention
It demanded
that they sit awhile
with loss.
Before they began to piece things together.
Before words recalled began to make sense
Before hindsight began to shed light
Grief demanded its space.
And, whatever our loss
Whether we are able to make sense of it
Whether we can find purpose through it
Whatever we hope for the future
Grief demands
that we pay attention
give it some space
Even when we hear in its midst
Peace be still...

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Risen today!


Luke 24:1-12
The Resurrection of Jesus
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.


The altar is dressed again
Resplendent in white and gold
as the resurrection message is proclaimed
He is not here
He is risen!
God could not be confined to the tomb
God returned to a world
where the “idle tales” of women
were not believed...
God returned to a world
where the boots of oppressors
still lay on the throats of the vulnerable...
God returned to a world
where insurrectionists believed
that their way of disruption and carnage
would herald a new hope...
And, in 2000 years
what has changed?
We proclaim Christ risen
in a world where the word of women is still questioned
where dictators and the deluded hold power
where bombs, bullets and knives
are the instruments of choice
to draw attention to a cause.
And the realisation that now, more than ever,
the need to proclaim
Faith, Hope and Love
to a world in darkness
is greater than it ever was.
And so we proclaim 
He is risen!
The challenge now, as then,
is showing God present
in such a messed up world
The Prince of Peace
shouldering a cross.
The king of love
stooping to serve the broken
The Risen Lord 
carrying the world
through the darkness of death 
to a glorious new life.
He is Risen!
He is Risen indeed!
Alleluia!

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