Monday, 1 June 2020

Choosing Trinity


Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses some
to be above the law
and others
to be beneath contempt?
Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses 
that some lives matter more than others
on the basis of race or creed or colour
on the basis of gender identity 
or sexual orientation 
Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses that the richest 1%
should own half the worlds wealth?
Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses that God’s church
and only part of it at that
contains all of the truth?
Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses on the basis of economical robustness
which ‘marks of mission’
are still valid when things get tough?
Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses that some skills
are more valuable than others 
and some ministries
are more important than others?
Are we to believe
that God is a choosing God
who chooses out of God’s triune nature
sometimes to be creator
sometimes to be redeemer
sometimes to be sustainer?
YES!
GOD IS A CHOOSING GOD
CHOOSING TO STAND
AND TO LIE DOWN
WITH ALL WHO ARE OPPRESSED
BY THE INJUSTICE IN OUR WORLD
CHOOSING TO SIT AT TABLE
WITH ALL THOSE CONSIDERED EXPENDABLE
CHOOSING TO AMPLIFY THE VOICES
OF THOSE WHO ARE SILENCED
BY AUTHORITY
BE IT GOVERNMENT OR STATE OR CHURCH
CHOOSING TO EXERT A WHOLE OTHER ECONOMY
THE TRIUNE GOD
CREATOR, REDEEMER, SUSTAINER
STANDS WITH THE POWERLESS
WEEPS WITH THE HELPLESS
AND CRADLES
IN NAIL TORN HANDS
EVERY DELICATE
PRECIOUS
GOD BREATHED LIFE
THROWING THE VULNERABILITY OF GOD
INTO THE RING OF HUMANKIND
IN ALL ITS BEAUTY AND BRUTALITY
YES!
GOD
CREATOR
REDEEMER
SUSTAINER
IS A CHOOSING GOD.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Signs of the Spirit


As we pray, O God,
for signs of your spirit
at work in our lives today,
Open our eyes
Stir up our hearts to recognise
the myriad ways you reveal your power
played out by ordinary people:
In the son who drops off his mother’s shopping
in her porch week by week
staying outside to ensure she stays healthy
Right there is your Spirit at work
In the bereaved siblings who, scattered throughout the country
allow strangers to lay their beloved parent to rest
to prevent the virus’s spread
Right there is your Spirit at work
In the new parents forced to choose
which of them remains in hospital with their young baby
while the other waits alone and anxious at home.
Right there is your Spirit at work
In the staff nurse who sleeps
in temporary accommodation
to prevent exposing his family to danger
Right there is your Spirit at work
In the teacher who reads stories online to her class
or who, from her kitchen, teaches them to prepare food
that the school gathers and shares with their vulnerable community
Right there is your Spirit at work
In the hospital staff who spend hours
cooped up in gloves and gowns and masks
finding ways to communicate care
Right there is your Spirit at work
In the teenagers who curb their restlessness 
to stay at home
Right there is your Spirit at work
In all of these
are the tongues of fire
speaking the language of love
Love that reaches beyond restriction
to unite humanity
in the common task of healing.
And as we recognise these signs of your Spirit at work today
keep us from judging others
May we who are blessed to be able
to make the right choices
show compassion to those
whose options are fewer.
And when we find our spirits flagging
pour out your Spirit on us
again and again
For you gave your Spirit
not in one time
and one place
But for all times
and all places.
Transform our lives
and our world
Today.


Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Pentecost 2020

Acts 2:1-4
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.


When the Spirit came on that first Pentecost, 
the disciples were all together 
waiting
On this Pentecost, scattered as we are,
waiting 
and hoping
for we know not what
still the Spirit comes
Merrily waltzing into our living rooms
Powerfully crashing into our chaotic spaces
Humbly sitting at our kitchen table 
Joyfully taking a seat beside us on the sofa
Quietly embracing us in our grief and confusion
in our yearning and loss.
The Spirit gets in among us anyway and every way
She sits until we are ready to pay attention
And then she takes us on a tour that reminds us
that in every place
and every time
God is present
And the Spirit of God 
announces that presence
In a song
In a whisper
In a cacophony of praise
In a cry for help
In a deep breath
The Spirit of God weaves together the fabric of life itself
Until we know that nothing can ever separate us from Gods love
And so as we pray for the healing of Creation
and for healing for our neighbour 
Our prayers are lifted
on the wings of the Spirit
and our sighs are caught up
and presented to God
And our faith
and hope
and love 
are reborn
in the life of the church
in the life of the world
The eternal gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.
Spirit of God, may it be so.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Not now

John 16:12-13
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

“You cannot bear them now...
When the Spirit comes...”
Lord you spoke these words
to your disciples
enfolded in their own grief
and puzzlement
In the midst of trauma
yours was the cautious voice
of waiting 
the consoling voice
of promise
In your infinite compassion
you made space
urging them to do the same
In these times,
we, like the disciples
are anxious to know
and understand
and impatient
to act.
Calm our jets, Lord
Show us how to wait
Still our racing reactivity
Encourage us to care for ourselves
before we barge on
with fixing the world
or even the church.
Reassure us 
that yours is a long term call
that warrants 
patience
kindness
gentleness
humility
compassion
and love
for ourselves
and others.
Enable us 
to sit contemplatively
with unanswered questions
to nurture
our grieving spirits
to make space for you
to pour in your healing
and your wisdom
in your time
when you consider
that we are able to bear it
And Lord
through the great cacophony
of voices
urging us this way and that
enable us to discern
your still, small voice
of clarity
and purpose.
So may it be.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Still waiting...

Acts 1:3-4
After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 

We thought the waiting was over
We thought we’d learned all we needed to know
We thought we knew what “Follow me” entailed
After all, it’s nothing new
Sure, we needed to update
We needed to accommodate 
a new generation
a new culture
Change was coming
albeit at a snail’s pace
But now?
We’re back at square one
The factory reset button has been pressed 
And we’re all at sea again
The problem is
We’ve kind of disabled your spirit
She was so disruptive
we tethered her
somewhere she couldn’t do so much harm
We locked her up safe and sound
in our buildings
tied up by our traditions
and our constitutions
Weighed her down
with our liturgies
and our rules and regulations.
And there are so many prophets
coming out of the woodwork
All claiming to know 
how to move forward
All claiming to have the answer
All making so much noise
That it’s so damned hard
To hear your voice
Suddenly everyone is an expert
in what we should do first
On how we should emerge
And, sadly
It doesn’t look that much different
to what we had before.
Risen, Ascended Lord
Really?
Are we the best you can do?
Are you going to just stand there
while your church
all shook up, for sure
crawls back to where we were
with a few tweaks
and a few extra online offerings
but otherwise
sighs a big sigh
that we can make our buildings safe
and go and do our thing
for thus it was
and is
and shall be
Evermore
I think I’ll pass this time around
Thanks, but no thanks.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

What is real?



"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."...
And so time went on, and the little Rabbit was very happy–so happy that he never noticed how his beautiful velveteen fur was getting shabbier and shabbier, and his tail becoming unsewn, and all the pink rubbed off his nose where the Boy had kissed him...
Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much...
He didn't mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn't matter.
And then, one day, the Boy was ill...
through it all the little Velveteen Rabbit lay there, hidden from sight under the bedclothes, and he never stirred,2
"How about his old Bunny?" she asked. "That?" said the doctor. "Why, it's a mass of scarlet fever germs!–Burn it at once.
The Velveteen Rabbit  Margery Williams

What is real
in these days
when everything is disrupted?
When everything that once seemed so important 
can so easily be set aside
with little to take its place.
What is real
when we have to avoid
those not of our household?
When we’re constrained
to “pass by on the other side.”
What is real
when we are aware of all that we have
and yet yearn for the freedom that is lost
and mourn opportunities that will not come again?
What is real
when we know solidarity
but long for solitude?
What is real
when we are constantly second guessing ourselves
and others
and have no capacity for either?
What is real
when our sleep is disturbed
when our minds are befuddled and slow
and focus is short?
What is real
when we know folks are doing their best
but we simply cannot watch another priest
break bread that we will not taste?
What is real?
And how soon can we get on
and burn all that once brought comfort
and start afresh
in a world
that does not forget disruption
but bravely forges
a new way forward
on things that we’ve discovered
are real?

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

More

John 14:5-9
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

More...
We clamour for more
More information
More explanation
More direction
More reassurance
More...
Jesus response 
to the request for more...
is to offer relationship
Through me...
You know God
Through me...
You see God
Jesus offers
relationship
that shows us God.
And in these days
of fear
and uncertainty
Perhaps what we need
is not moveable plans
or strategy
and certainly not
conjecture
Rather, it is
relationship 
with one another
in which
we see God
relationship 
with one another
in which
we know God
present
in our world today.
And there...
is our more.

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