Sunday, 14 February 2016

Into The Wilderness -Leaving what we know and have relied upon

This year Lent has taken on a particular and special meaning for me,
 as it coincides with my husband and I setting out
 from the church we have known as our spiritual family for a long time,
 on a journey of discovery which, at the moment anyway,
 feels like a true setting out into the wilderness.

We do not know where we are being led,
only that we must let go of where we have been,
really let go,
before we can discover where we are meant to be.

What makes this journey of discovery even more interesting,
(for interesting read difficult!), 
is that there are two of us.
Two very different people,
 each on their own intensely personal pilgrimage of faith,
hoping and trusting we will be brought to a place 
we will both recognise as "home".
The fact that we have been brought to this moment together
is a hopeful sign of that synchronicity of the Spirit that is all we look for.

Because this is still so new, and I grieve for fellowship we have left
 I felt I wasn't ready to start out on our search yet,
but hubby wanted to attend an evening communion
at a local Anglican church on Ash Wednesday, so it seemed fitting to go. 
In doing so we are starting our search with the words which accompany
the moment when the sign of the cross was traced on our foreheads
with ash, signifying repentance.

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
 Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ."

Throughout my life I know that it is not my faithfulness,
 but the faithfulness of a God who has actively sort me,
 and led me,
 that has mattered,
and it is this that I rely upon.

My one prayer is perfectly expressed by this worship song.

Be Blessed

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Celandine Morning Prayer

This morning for the first time for an age the rain has stopped lashing down
and the gale wind has dropped.
The sun is out,
so of course I am off into the garden to put washing on the line.

As I scan the borders noting the premature signs of spring, as well as the storm damage
 I spot the hardy celandines returning,
despite my best efforts to root them out each year.

I love to see their shining faces in the woodlands and hedgerows.
In the garden though, they form close knit rafts
overwhelming everything in their path;
weaving themselves into roots of perennials and shrubs alike,
so there is nothing else to do but dig everything up and separate them out-
and then replant.
Hard work, and increasingly, more than I can do.

Before I knew it I had my fingers into the cold wet muddy earth,
wheedling down the white thread-like stems to the root,
 then cupping them out between my fingers, little balls of earth and all.
Strangely, even as I did so,
 I was filled with wonder and respect at the resilience of life that pushes up,
 again and again.
There in the cold mud my heart sang to the source of life.

You who I know as Life,
 upholding all,
never turning away,
never failing,
but seeking always new ways to break out
and show yourself;
filling all created things with an expression of yourself
and calling forth the new in every moment,
fill us with such a force of life we cannot hold it in,
growing strong in the true and pure proclamation of you
 we are uniquely made to be,
even in our suffering, brokenness, ambition, and frailty.

Be Blessed

Monday, 1 February 2016

The First day of Spring?

Watching the moving news footage of a boat load of refugees 
being rescued from a sinking vessel off the coast of Samos,
 I witnessed their utter joy.
My heart ached As I thought about the long struggle still lying ahead
in their long search for a new, safer, and better, life. 

I couldn't help but wonder if,
 on the hard path which still lies ahead of them
 they may be tempted to look back at their moment of rescue
 as a bitter beacon of false hope, 
 serving only to mark their passage into some new darkness; 
or will they be able to use their memory of that moment
 to strengthen them in the belief 
that the promise of the new, and the good,
is still possible, and within their grasp.

Today, the first of February, is St. Brigid's day.
The day marked by the Celtic church,
in the middle of winter,
 as the first day of spring!

It was now, that Celtic spirituality chose to look 
beyond the cold bleak days they were still enduring
to take account of the buds becoming full,
 and the pure white snowdrops, (an emblem of St. Brigid),
 breaking from the dark earth.
In short, they looked to the re-awakening of all things
as the light returned, 
and the days lengthened on their patch of the good earth. 

We may know how it is to try and hold on in some winter gloom that has settled in us,
to have unfulfilled hopes which once burned bright,
but have all but been extinguished.

Is there some hope, or promise, you feared was lost
 that rises up in you now
crying out to shine into life and springtime newness ?
Is there something suggesting itself
 you could do right now
to give yourself the new impetus you need?
I love the words of John 1:4
which assure us that at the heart and meaning of our life,
 the very centre of our being,
 is a Christ light shining.

May your hope be re-kindled, and come to the full light of it's dawning,
so your unique expression of the Christ light within you will shine forth
as surely as the winter light will lengthen into spring. 
If you follow this blog you will know how I love this song by Luka Bloom.

Don't Be afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You.

Listen And Be Blessed