Thursday, 31 December 2015

Behind every piece of music ...

... there is often a memory and a meaning to be found lurking somewhere near.

This morning, which engaged in the delightful task of administration (yes, I do admin' thank you very much) I clicked on something and found the room filled with the sound of Mendelssohn's Violin concerto (E minor - Op.64).

Immediately I was taken back to the 15 year old me and my embryonic record collection - for this was the one of the first two pieces of 'classical' music I purchased. The  other being Myra Hess playing Jesu joy of man's desiring (BWV 147).

They say that the olfactory sense is our greatest organ of remembering, and this is perhaps true for recently I met a woman who wore Je Revien and was reminded of my mother; the smell of certain tobaccos reminds me of a grandfather who has been departed this life for over half a century.

We lay up for ourselves many memories. We treasure the good and are sometimes misshapen by the the bad but memory is a important thing indeed. We hope that people will forget those things which show us in a poor light, and it seems that all of us have some of these, and that our good bits shine through the dross that might be found. In this I find the words of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) Communion service  always hits home, for I am never untouched by the words:

'And although we be unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice,
yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service;
not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences,'

So here we are at the close of another year and I wonder what highs and lows spring to mind for each of us?

Too often I find myself surrounded by wish-filled people. You probably know some yourself - folk who wish they had done something (but never have); people who wish they hadn't done something (but usually have). The sadness is that some will never make that step to do, or stop doing, and will live lives limited by their sins of omission and commission: The 'what we have done and what we have failed to do' things.

As the year draws to an end, rather than make hollow promises and rarely kept resolutions, why don't you just decide to start making the right choices more often and leave the wrong choices to others?

Take the time to think of the things that have blessed you, others and (most importantly) God and just decide that you are going to do the,.

Think some more and consider the things that have been wrong (to God, neighbour and self) and just decide that they are going to be set aside during the next year.

Perhaps you are one of those who takes the path of least resistance and gushes forth with nice words rather than the words people need to hear -if you are 'STOP IT'. Now this isn't permission to be cruel or hard of heartless, that is never right, but it is permission to be honest and to speak what needs to be spoken. I'm going to be giving that a try next year, be warned) to enable others to live and serve as they should (and for those who dislike such 'directive' terminology, can I say now that that is just tough, because I'm not playing your Bible denying doublespeak - I will be speaking the truth in love, but the truth will be heard.

Time to sing up and get in to make the kingdom of God know where you are and in those around you. When we see people caught in sin we must act to restore them GENTLY, but we must act, or else those around us will fall and we will be complicit in their downfall. Time to be fully inclusive and yet never permissive. Time to stop the politics of power (which other than the power of God have no place in our sermons anyway) and star preaching a message of reconciliation to God and to right living (and that means living by God's word in case people are wondering). Sin is a right and proper term to be using (even though some who consider themselves to be Church don't like it).

We don't change the word of God to be popular in the world, we change the world by being faithful to it.

Now, do I need to make things any clearer?

Hopefully not - so now there's no excuse.

Have a blessed and enjoyable New Year's Eve and a godly and enabling 2016.

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