Monday, 20 February 2017

Saint's Days: Fake News

Once upon a time, in a land of volcanoes and dragons, lived a Viking Chief by the name of Trump the Newsslayer. Trump was named after the Viking tradition of noting the first response of the Father upon seeing the new addition to the family. Oxblood the Great's father slew an ox in his son's honour. Rollo was named after his Father passed around a tune of chocolate toffees in celebration. Erik the Red - well his dad just painted the town red and partied for days. But sadly, for Newsslayer, his Father having partied hard during the labour merely stood and emitted noxious fumes at the news.

And so it was done!

Trump was a man who instilled fear in many of the people around him and eschewing the words found in the book of Ecclesiastes in one of the Bibles his forebears had removed from an Island on the East coast during one of their conquests, he treasured the songs of fools and the approbation of the weak-minded rather than the company of the wise.

But his name was made, not by slaying dragons nor by his good words or actions, but by engagement with 'fake news' wheresoever it might be found - even creating it where none was to be found so that the challenges could be laid down. From Bowling Greens and their tragedies through to awful non-happenings on the shores of the Viking lands - Trump's voice was heard!

And although rape, loot and pillaging had gone out of fashion across the globe, the poor were still fair game (especially when so many of them perhaps foolhardily followed him) and the rich and wealthy (of whom ironically, he was one) were a good target against whom to mobilise the rabble and appear valiant.

Suffice to say - 'Fake News' was never eradicated - in fact so much of the contemporaneous writings of the Newsslayer's time describe something rotten not in the state of Denmark but in the town of Washing (aptly named because over the years that it existed there had been  much whitewashing and washing of dirty linen to be found there).

So today - as we remember that martyr to the truth - the irrepressible saint of fake news and the opponent of so many - let us offer up a prayer in his honour:

Trump the Newsslayer

Loving Lord, Living Word, 
Today as we remember Trump.
Fill our words with wisdom, 
May our keystrokes be struck with honesty and integrity. 
May we pursue those who misrepresent the truth,
And hear the voices that need be heard over the noise of deceit,
Keep us faithful to the the goals of justice, mercy, and humility,
And strengthen us to overcome obstacles, 
And withstand the chattering and posturing noise of fools,
In the Name of the Living God. Amen.

ps. Apologies to real Vikings and their descendants everywhere ;-)
pps. Watch out for the many great stories in the 'Annals of Trump' (Coming soon)

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of fools; this also is vanity.

Morning Prayer - Monday 20 February 2017

Psalm 71
In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; incline your ear to me and save me. Be for me a stronghold to which I may ever resort; send out to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the evildoer and the oppressor. For you are my hope, O Lord God, my confidence, even from my youth. Upon you have I leaned from my birth, when you drew me from my mother’s womb; my praise shall be always of you.

I have become a portent to many, but you are my refuge and my strength. Let my mouth be full of your praise and your glory all the day long. Do not cast me away in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails. For my enemies are talking against me, and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together. They say, ‘God has forsaken him; pursue him and take him, because there is none to deliver him.’

O God, be not far from me; come quickly to help me, O my God. Let those who are against me be put to shame and disgrace; let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.

But as for me I will hope continually and will praise you more and more. My mouth shall tell of your righteousness and salvation all the day long, for I know no end of the telling. I will begin with the mighty works of the Lord God; I will recall your righteousness, yours alone.

O God, you have taught me since I was young, and to this day I tell of your wonderful works. Forsake me not, O God, when I am old and grey-headed, till I make known your deeds to the next generation and your power to all that are to come.

Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens; in the great things you have done, who is like you, O God?

What troubles and adversities you have shown me, and yet you will turn and refresh me and bring me from the deep of the earth again. Increase my honour; turn again and comfort me.

Therefore will I praise you upon the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will sing out as I play to you, and so will my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue also will tell of your righteousness all the day long, for they shall be shamed and disgraced who sought to do me evil.

Ecclesiastes 7.1-14
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death, than the day of birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for this is the end of everyone, and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of fools; this also is vanity.

Surely oppression makes the wise foolish, and a bribe corrupts the heart.
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning; the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.

Do not be quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.

Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to the one who possesses it.

Consider the work of God; who can make straight what he has made crooked?

On the day of prosperity be joyful, and on the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.

John 19.1-16
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, ‘Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.’ So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Here is the man!’ When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.’

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, ‘Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?’ Jesus answered him, ‘You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.’ From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, ‘If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.’

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, ‘Here is your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!’ Pilate asked them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but the emperor.’ Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus;

The Collect
Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.

Journal: Sunday

Three different churches and three different service styles ranging from BCP (Book of Common Prayer - 1662) through to Common Worship with a bit of something that drew largely upon the ASB (Alternative Service Book). Who ever said all our services were the same?

I love the BCP services, they are something that once the rhythm is set, become solid gold! The language is Shakespearean (actually, with the King James Bible we taught Shakespeare stuff and gave the English language words and phrases) and the style is penitent rather than party. There's movement, the Commandments and so much more in it - no wonder so many are in love with it.

The Book of Common Prayer is still, as I understand it, the principal Prayer book - ASB came and went - and now the Common Worship has arrived, but only as an add on, a bit of a novelty act in some ways I. The way some use it.

The BCP morning service, which I haven't seems since a chorister is great liturgy and provides an opportunity for an anthem and Bible set to music, is an extravaganza indeed.

The Common Worship service is pretty much just there and fills the service space with enough words to do what you need. It's workmanlike and in some places cut short enough to leave space for the amazingly interminably repetitive 'worship' and devoid of silence offerings so many appear to enjoy as Church today. Much as I love many of the modern songs, I do find myself sighing as those who have to have a new song every week and rush to be the first with the latest offering. But it is less and less about focus on God and more and more venue management - sadly there will never be enough in most of these places to need bouncers :-)

The other service was a 'bare bones' service. It ticked all the boxes and even with me preaching lasted fifty minutes! But it was what the people wanted and it was workmanlike in that it deleivered a balanced service with everything that should be on the plate to get to that which was on the table - so 'job done'.

So often these days we confuse liturgy and worship, separating them and almost making them enemies. We appear to have lost the place of silence, in fact we seem so afraid of it that should more than a handful of second of the stuff appear in a service, we pepper the silence with another piece of music or something trite - and like a meal where seasoning has been overly applied, the result is wind. But it isn't the wind of the Spirit blowing!

Few pastoral encounters today - but enough to keep me humble and busy.

Looking at a quiet week ahead as have a very different week planned.
God; his love, grace and bread will sustain me - and the company is worth having.
So bring it on.q

This place of reflection is here for me to dialogue internally and gain insight and perspective. It first appeared in this current form for some of those looking at creating their own journal as part of the their journey to discerning vocation. The Morning prayer is there also for that same purpose: to create the discipline of prayer. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Journal: a week in reflection

The Christian life is about discipline and love, the latter being so very popular, for who among us likes discipline? But this has been a week where discipline has cropped up in so many forms and guises and there're have been blessings, curses, inspiration and depressing meeting of expectations to be found in it all.

Discipline, for me, has two basic strands: Imposed discipline and self-discipline. As the Bible says in Psalm 32: "Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."

Self-discipline is an essential element if Christianity is going to have any value or meaning for us. ITs great to live in a world where we speak of love, but that love needs to have substance and shape and meaning, but all too often all it has isa desire for something warm, soft and fuzzy. Love is not merely affirming what people do - I'm sorry to say that this is not love. Love corrects as well as affirms and all too often the Church, in all it's affirming of things that common sense, traditional values and Biblical entreaty says should be spoken against - is paving the way to the demise of itself and condemning some to becoming less than they could be.

Galatians six tells us to combat sinful action gently, because to do otherwise is to tempt ourselves to fall into sin, and to offer correction such that the person 'sinning' is corrected. This is the applying of the 'bit and bridle' to a situation to steer people away from the wrong stuff. The problem is that we don't want to look like we are not an approving body, so we approve everything and anything in a hope that this will make us look 'nice'. But you know what?

Church just ain't nice sometimes - it tells people what they don't want to hear because that's its job! It is there to be light - showing up the stuff that isn't right - and to be salt - bringing healing, some taste to the proceedings and stopping the whole thing from becoming rotten.

Most of the burning issues this week were to do with discipline and where necessary I have pointed out the Biblical principles and demands and drawn lines, not harshly (for the potential for me sinning and them continuing to sin is great when we don our Vlad the Impaler kit) but using the voice of reason and informing the other party.

Would telling them they were great and putting aside the Bible and affirming them and a turning a blind eye to whatever it is that they were doing have built the Church? Nah, think not!

Would being sensitive (which means lying to affirm what we'd otherwise be thinking might be wrong) bring them to a place or right thinking or fill our pews? Of course not!!

Church is inclusive - it is a body that accepts all people regardless.

Church is a bunch of people who say, "Come as you are - expect to leave different."

Church is affirming but not permissive.

Wouldn't it be nice if Church, which is merely a bunch of people getting together, took the words of the Bible seriously and worried about being something practical rather than a bunch of bleeding heart 'do gooders' (the words of a non-Christian) and got out there a did good (and God).

Lord, as a new week is about to be unwrapped, may we reveal the Son through our actions and attitudes - May we preach the Gospel in love and living - and may self-discipline be a hallmark of that which others see.

Thank you for your Grace, Your daily bread and Your infinite love.

This place of reflection is here for me to dialogue internally and gain insight and perspective. It first appeared in this current form for some of those looking at creating their own journal as part of the their journey to discerning vocation. The Morning prayer is there also for that same purpose: to create the discipline of prayer. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Morning Prayer - Saturday 18 February 2017

Psalm 68
Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered; let those that hate him flee before him. As the smoke vanishes, so may they vanish away; as wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; let them make merry with gladness. Sing to God, sing praises to his name; exalt him who rides on the clouds. The Lord is his name; rejoice before him. Father of the fatherless, defender of widows, God in his holy habitation!

God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners to songs of welcome, but the rebellious inhabit a burning desert.

O God, when you went forth before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, The earth shook and the heavens dropped down rain, at the presence of God, the Lord of Sinai, at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You sent down a gracious rain, O God; you refreshed your inheritance when it was weary. Your people came to dwell there; in your goodness, O God, you provide for the poor.

The Lord gave the word; great was the company of women who bore the tidings: ‘Kings and their armies they flee, they flee!’ and women at home are dividing the spoil. Though you stayed among the sheepfolds, see now a dove’s wings covered with silver and its feathers with green gold. When the Almighty scattered the kings, it was like snowflakes falling on Zalmon.

You mighty mountain, great mountain of Bashan! You towering mountain, great mountain of Bashan! Why look with envy, you towering mountains, at the mount which God has desired for his dwelling, the place where the Lord will dwell for ever?

The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, even thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them, the Lord of Sinai in holy power. You have gone up on high and led captivity captive; you have received tribute, even from those who rebelled, that you may reign as Lord and God.

Blessed be the Lord who bears our burdens day by day, for God is our salvation. God is for us the God of our salvation; God is the Lord who can deliver from death. God will smite the head of his enemies, the hairy scalp of those who walk in wickedness. The Lord has said, ‘From the heights of Bashan, from the depths of the sea will I bring them back,
‘Till you dip your foot in blood and the tongue of your dogs has a taste of your enemies.’

We see your solemn processions, O God, your processions into the sanctuary, my God and my King. The singers go before, the musicians follow after, in the midst of maidens playing on timbrels. In your companies, bless your God; bless the Lord, you that are of the fount of Israel. At the head there is Benjamin, least of the tribes, the princes of Judah in joyful company, the princes of Zebulun and Naphtali.

Send forth your strength, O God; establish, O God, what you have wrought in us. For your temple’s sake in Jerusalem kings shall bring their gifts to you. Drive back with your word the wild beast of the reeds, the herd of the bull-like, the brutish hordes. Trample down those who lust after silver; scatter the peoples that delight in war. Vessels of bronze shall be brought from Egypt; Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God.

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; make music in praise of the Lord; He rides on the ancient heaven of heavens and sends forth his voice, a mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose splendour is over Israel, whose power is above the clouds.  How terrible is God in his holy sanctuary, the God of Israel, who gives power and strength to his people! Blessed be God.

Ecclesiastes 6
There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy upon humankind: those to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honour, so that they lack nothing of all that they desire, yet God does not enable them to enjoy these things, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous ill. A man may beget a hundred children, and live for many years; but however many are the days of his years, if he does not enjoy life’s good things, or has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes into vanity and goes into darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything; yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to one place?

All human toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is not satisfied. For what advantage have the wise over fools? And what do the poor have who know how to conduct themselves before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire; this also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what human beings are, and that they are not able to dispute with those who are stronger. The more words, the more vanity, so how is one the better? For who knows what is good for mortals while they live the few days of their vain life, which they pass like a shadow? For who can tell them what will be after them under the sun?

John 18.28-end
Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered, ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.’ The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death.’ (This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’
After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, ‘I find no case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’ They shouted in reply, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a bandit.

The Collect
Almighty God, who alone can bring order to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity: give your people grace so to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, among the many changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Journal: Friday Fun

What a stonking day with four visits done before Lunch!

I love getting to meet and have a conversation, reminisce, and get to have Communion with people where they are. So many high spots as we celebrated progress with matters medical at one end of the scale and contained our concern at the lack of it elsewhere. Tea drunk, Communion celebrated (for it the Church that celebrates whilst the person serving it up presides), family proclaimed. Pure bliss.

Pastoral conversations today were limited to no more than a handful outside of the Communion but even they were positive and encouraging - no new fires on the horizon - the flames that were once to be found are now (apparently, and hopefully as they seem) dying embers.

Kid's Club was a joy and amidst the games of snooker and pool (no Wii this week) and the birthday celebrations there was the joy of educational progress and more stable life experiences. Not the busiest we've been but having past twenty kids in the place it felt full enough. A wonderful part of the ministry in this place - another of the real joys.

Later there was the finishing off of the Sunday service and all that entails - funny how some seem to think that the Sunday happenings just happen to happen without planning, predation and study. Must remember to offer them a go at it some time :-)

Somehow the 'third of a day off' things didn't happen - hard to stop when you're having such a good time innit?

So Lord, 
for the obvious places where You have been found - I give You thanks,
for the surprising places where You became noticed - I praise You,
for the people whose lives You are changing - I applaud You,
for loving and using me - I'm astounded, humbled and blessed.
May today have sown seed, may tomorrow see me reap the harvest of Your love.

This place of reflection is here for me to dialogue internally and gain insight and perspective. It first appeared in this current form for some of those looking at creating their own journal as part of the their journey to discerning vocation. The Morning prayer is there also for that same purpose: to create the discipline of prayer. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Morning Prayer - Friday 17 February 2017

Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977

Psalm 51
Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; according to the abundance of your compassion blot out my offences. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my faults and my sin is ever before me.

Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, So that you are justified in your sentence and righteous in your judgement. I have been wicked even from my birth, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

Behold, you desire truth deep within me and shall make me understand wisdom in the depths of my heart. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear of joy and gladness, that the bones you have broken may rejoice. Turn your face from my sins and blot out all my misdeeds. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy spirit from me. Give me again the joy of your salvation and sustain me with your gracious spirit; Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked and sinners shall return to you.

Deliver me from my guilt, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it; you take no delight in burnt offerings.

The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. O be favourable and gracious to Zion; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will accept sacrifices offered in righteousness, the burnt offerings and oblations; then shall they offer up bulls on your altar.

Psalm 54
Save me, O God, by your name and vindicate me by your power. Hear my prayer, O God; give heed to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, and the ruthless seek after my life; they have not set God before them.

Behold, God is my helper; it is the Lord who upholds my life. May evil rebound on those who lie in wait for me; destroy them in your faithfulness.

An offering of a free heart will I give you and praise your name, O Lord, for it is gracious. For he has delivered me out of all my trouble, and my eye has seen the downfall of my enemies.

Ecclesiastes 5
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than the sacrifice offered by fools; for they do not know how to keep from doing evil. Never be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.

For dreams come with many cares, and a fool’s voice with many words.

When you make a vow to God, do not delay fulfilling it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Fulfil what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not fulfil it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your words, and destroy the work of your hands?

With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words; but fear God.

If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and right, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. But all things considered, this is an advantage for a land: a king for a ploughed field.

The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is vanity.

When goods increase, those who eat them increase; and what gain has their owner but to see them with his eyes?

Sweet is the sleep of labourers, whether they eat little or much; but the surfeit of the rich will not let them sleep.

There is a grievous ill that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owners to their hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture; though they are parents of children, they have nothing in their hands. As they came from their mother’s womb, so they shall go again, naked as they came; they shall take nothing for their toil, which they may carry away with their hands. This also is a grievous ill: just as they came, so shall they go; and what gain do they have from toiling for the wind? Besides, all their days they eat in darkness, in much vexation and sickness and resentment.

This is what I have seen to be good: it is fitting to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of the life God gives us; for this is our lot. Likewise all to whom God gives wealth and possessions and whom he enables to enjoy them, and to accept their lot and find enjoyment in their toil—this is the gift of God. For they will scarcely brood over the days of their lives, because God keeps them occupied with the joy of their hearts.

John 18.12-27
So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus answered, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.’ When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?’ Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

The Collect
God of truth, whose servant Janani Luwum walked in the light, and in his death defied the powers of darkness: free us from fear of those who kill the body, that we too may walk as children of light, through him who overcame darkness by the power of the cross,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Journal: A bit of a fuzzy day

Started well - got excited by the daily Office and even more so by the 09:30 Communion - then managed to sort a funeral a get a few home Communions under the belt before developing a bit of a strange headache/migraine which meant I moved a couple of visits to tomorrow.

To be totally honest, the pastoral conversations today ranged from inspiring to bizarre, but that's the way life usually runs, isn't it? The key is that solutions in place were coming together, new solutions we discussed and developed elsewhere and some situations just need to be put in a box and left under a file of books (but as we can't do that, we started to unravel the wool and try and find an end to work from!) 

There was theology and organisation and stuff to be done in the evening, always a good entertainment source - but in all, although much happened, it was a day when everything was lumped, clumped and fuzzy. A 'stuff done' day, but not necessarily in a way that leaves you feeling defined and definite.

You give us a variety of things to entertain, distract, bless and confuse - and that's variety.
You give us time and the ability to manage it - and that's not always taken properly.
You give us people to bless and to be blessed by - but sometimes we can miss this.
You call us to minister Your grace - may we never forget this.
You see our feet of clay and our foolishness - and continue to live us.
For all this I give you praise :-)

This place of reflection is here for me to dialogue internally and gain insight and perspective. It first appeared in this current form for some of those looking at creating their own journal as part of the their journey to discerning vocation. The Morning prayer is there also for that same purpose: to create the discipline of prayer.