Friday, 31 January 2014

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street
The early morning sunshine
glistens in the puddles
left by the street cleaners
Discarded beads
gleam from the gutter
purple, green and gold
swept up
with the detritus
of the night before
The late night revelry
has barely ended
The crowds of people
jostling, jeering
mocking and making music
have moved on
taking their rest
avoiding the harsh morning light
biding their time
before regrouping
and heading out again
looking for the next spectacle
Little holds their attention
for more than a few brief hours
Life goes on
And the street awaits
the coming of the night
to do it all again

So it was at Calvary
when the crowd
jostled and jeered
and mocked
and made music
until the spectacle ended
and the people moved on
and the mess
was swept into the gutter
and few were around to notice
the discarded beads
glittering and gleaming
telling the story
of squandered love
and proffered hope.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 27 January 2014

Holocaust Memorial Day

Shaving brushes
Shoe brushes
Tooth brushes
Eye glasses
And so the list goes on
All personal items removed

Not for a more equitable distribution
Not for reuse or recycling
But removed for the hell of it
To depersonalise
To dehumanise
My God, my God. Why have you forsaken?
Yet such is the strength of human spirit
The might of human will
That folk outlived
The horror and genocide
Folk lived and returned
To tell their stories
And the stories of those wiped out

Stories of horror
Of evil
Of unimaginable darkness
But also stories of love
And courage
And amazing strength of human will
That refuses to be defeated
That refuses to be dehumanised
That, even, in a dying breath
Finds forgiveness.
Such is the strength of human will
The courage of love
And the ability of light
To conquer every darkness
So that in the end
Evil does not have the last word

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Feet of the beloved

Some have meandered lightly
through verdant pastures
Some have slipped and slithered
through gooey mess
Some have trodden firmly
a path of wisdom and discernment
Some have stepped out warily
despite opposition
Some have manoeuvred skilfully
around all manner of diversion
Some have set out hesitantly
amidst discouragement
Some have flitted with energy
born of passion and commitment
Some have travelled fast
and with purpose
Some have matched their stride to others
or allowed others to catch up
Each beloved foot tells a story
of a journey of faith
and compassion
of opposition
and companionship
of trial and triumph
of hardship
and abundant blessing.
Each one gentle
Each one loving
Each belonging to a beloved
daughter of God.
The feet of the beloved.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 19 January 2014

On the other side

Once a month, I host the 11th Hour Preachers Party on the RevGalBlogPals website. It is, as the name suggests, a gathering of resources for those whose sermons have been busy percolating all week and for those who have left their preaching tasks to the last minute. It is a fun and hospitable way to complete that weekly task. And even, and perhaps especially, if this is a task completed earlier in the week, experience and wisdom is gratefully received at the Preachers Party. Often, just one phrase shared or some perspective offered can be just what is needed to help a preacher bring it home. And the Holy Spirit always has our backs.
Hosting from the UK, I always start the party before our US RevGals have surfaced and have to leave them to party on when I need to get some rest before Sunday morning. But preachers from Japan, from Beijing, from Australia, from Canada, from France, from Norway and Holland and other places I've forgotten, also join in, so, like the voice of prayer, it is never silent.
It feels strange, this morning, to wake up when many church services back home will already be over and preachers will be heading to their Holy Naps, a pleasant and often necessary Sunday afternoon activity. But what a wonderful reminder of the relentless and never ending activity of the people of God across the world, engaged in crafting and delivering worship for all Gods people and for the glory of an awesome, sustaining God. Thanks be to God.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 17 January 2014

A window seat

Holiday Snapshots

Little snippets picked up in the passing
as the overhead locker is loaded or emptied
and seats are identified for occupation
Those brief introductions made
in that hiatus
when electronic devices
are silenced for take off.
The polite or profound
topics of conversation
as trays are distributed
and plastic wrapped food
is consumed
or as a wander down the aisle
is undertaken.
The relief and anticipation
that bonds travellers
as the newly landed plane
taxis its way to the gate.
Confidences shared at the carousel
waiting on baggage reclaim
Hopes and wishes communicated
as though we'd known one another for ever
The monotony and the melee
of transatlantic travel
fosters a hotbed
of meeting and greeting
and revelation
A window into another's soul
that becomes a precious gift
to be cherished
for its brevity
and uniqueness.
Easily missed
but worth the engagement
and the effort required
to encounter
a companion along the way

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 6 January 2014


Follow the star
and go on following it
until dreams are realised
until fears subside
until mystery is embraced.
Follow the star
even when chaos reigns
in the wake of the quest.
Follow the star
whatever it takes
for the gift of revelation
is immeasurable
and the depth of knowing
is unfathomable.
The mystery of God with us
revealed in a child.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 3 January 2014

12 Days - and more

In all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas, it's easy to forget that the Christmas season lasts 12 days - and the rest.
By the time we have slogged through the preparation and anticipation of Advent, we reach that final carol of the Midnight Watchnight Service, our excitement tinged with relief and weariness.
And often, the Sunday between Christmas and New Year is seen as the final opportunity of the season to sing all those Christmas Carols that we held back on during Advent.
So, by the time the first Sunday of the New Year rolls around, we forget that we haven't celebrated those wise visitors from the East.
We're anxious to remove the decorations and get back to our routines.
We miss out on our Epiphany - literally and figuratively.
And we shake off the impact of the Incarnation.
We distance ourselves from the disturbing persistence of God with us.
Perhaps it's a coping mechanism.
A means by which we avoid confronting the darkness of today that is more than a match for the darkness that accompanied the backlash of slaughter and repression that followed the Magi's enquiries about the birth of a king.
If we remove the Christmas clutter and tidy away the tree, we can move on through the year.
On the other hand, if we linger around Bethlehem, awaiting the gifts and the wisdom that are on their way, awaiting the dawning of light and embracing that light to lead us forward, perhaps we can take the Incarnation with us into our hurting world along with the wisdom and the gifts that will enable us to confront the powers of darkness that affect the children of our world today.

The Magi -
was their visit worth the wait?
It took them some time
to follow their star
and wind their way
to the birthplace
of a king.
And on the way
they stirred up
political angst
and insecurity
inciting slaughter
to protect
an evil regime.
Their gifts betrayed
great insight
into the life
and death
of the one
they sought to honour.
And they knew
the culmination
of their lifetime's work.
They received their Epiphany -
and created for us
the opportunity
to be dazzled too
by the light of the One
Born to be king.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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