Friday, 8 January 2021

Choosing God

 


Luke 5:12-13

Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him.


I do choose

Jesus’ words to the leper

I do choose

Jesus’ words to us

I do choose -

Be made clean

Choosing God

awaken us today

to your positive regard

with which you choose to engage

And may we know your healing

and cleansing

right where

and when

we need it most

For love’s sake.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The star has stopped


Matthew 2:11-12

On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.


On this feast of Epiphany

what will be the gifts that we bring?

How will we continue to worship the babe in the manger

and honour God with us

while sheltering in place?

We will bring our gold, our frankincense and our myrrh:

The gold of friendship, of reaching out to others

constantly affirming connectedness and belovedness

The frankincense of random acts of kindness, 

permeating community with a spirit of joy in giving and receiving

The myrrh of prayer quietly yet persistently offered

for the healing of the world

And we will remember the danger

for those whose homes are not safe

Those who are locked in loveless relationships

Those who have slipped through the net of benefits provision

Those who have to choose 

between food or heat

Those without digital connectivity

Those juggling work and child care

Praying for wisdom to know

how best to serve and work alongside our neighbour

And what is the other road

we are being called to travel?

Devoid of our usual tools

and places and props

how will we discern

the adventure

to which God beckons?

And how will we

appreciate the moments of the journey

as they unfold

without being distracted

by what might be our destination

using each step along the way

to pause and reflect

to wonder and enquire

to what we are being called

in this time and place.

The star has stopped

and the journey continues

to follow the baby

into danger and challenge

calling out injustice

noising up establishment 

practising impropriety

all in the name of love

and witness to

God with us

Always.

Feeding hearts and minds


 Mark 6:34

As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

He had compassion on them

Compassion for the lost who yearned for a shepherd 

One who would lead them in love

One who would care for them 

not because of what they could give in return 

but because they merited care and compassion

He had compassion on them

and began to teach them many things

not so that they would be beholden to him

but so that they would be equipped to resource themselves

through the wisdom that he shared

Wisdom and compassion

Gifts that continued to make a difference

long after their hunger had been fed

long after they had left the lakeside

and returned to their homes and their communities

Wisdom and compassion

Gifts we receive  for sharing

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Most Holy Name

 


Luke 2:21


Jesus Is Named

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


Jesus

The one who saves

Named before conception

Conceived before the world began

Given for redemption

A name revered 

and reviled

Lifted high

and trampled underfoot

A name that brings comfort

and challenge

that brings unity

and division

A name that embraces

accompanies

and inspires

All in a name

The one who saves

Jesus

Friday, 1 January 2021

Theotokos

 



Luke 2:19
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Giving birth
Neither an end
Nor a beginning
But part of a continuum
that transforms
at every step
and stage
The deep reflection called forth
will be both a necessity and a luxury
A discipline worth pursuit
in the melee
of pride and pain
Giving birth to God, however
takes it all
to a whole new level
Blessed be Mary
Mother of God.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020 Reflections

 


Psalms 139:7-12

Where can I go from your spirit?

Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there;

if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning

and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me fast.

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.


In a year that held darkness

we give thanks for gifts of light

In a year of loss we give thanks

for relationships strengthened

for love borne out

in myriad ways that made a difference

For all the signs of God

in those we encountered 

those who held out faith

when our own wavered

and those for whom we were enabled

to be companions on the way

We give thanks for the rediscovery

of gifts we had laid aside

forgotten in their familiarity

that became precious once more

as they became harder to reach

and all the more longed for

And in our thanksgiving

we embrace the wisdom revealed 

that, hopefully we won’t let go so easily

as we forge a new future

diminished by loss

yet strengthened by shared experience

that reminds us

that love is stronger than death

and light penetrates darkness

and that there is no place

that takes us beyond God’s reach.

May our reflection

continue to enable insight

changing the way we embrace the future

in the knowledge that we are held

always in the love and light of God.

Beyond lament


It seems to me that just one of the purposes of lament

might be the enabling of a re-orientation

Naming loss and fear may be the first steps

to realising hope and potential

Lament is a necessary passing place

in which we must rest for a time

before navigating whatever lies before us

A passing place that allows us

to move at a slower pace than those around us

And, like any passing place

it is not somewhere to languish

or to linger longer than necessary

It is a temporary shelter in which we glimpse

some perspective on the journey we are on

that enriches the way ahead.

Our openness to lament may determine

how we move forward into a landscape

that is littered with new and emerging features

that have replaced familiar landmarks

And, as we grieve the known and loved

we unwittingly make space 

to cautiously embrace 

a new way forward

A way we did not anticipate or choose

but a road we will traverse

with rawness and realness 

with vigilance and vulnerability 

with grittiness and grace 

making space for those

who also need to use

the passing places of lament along the way

until, together, we become re-orientated

to a new hope for a new journey.

May it be so. 

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