Sunday, 27 November 2016

Dear diary: A stunning week closes . . .

Time for a bit of reflection:

Communion celebrated (I preside and we all, as the people of God, celebrate the Eucharist - just saying) in a variety of settings (church, home and care home). A privilege and joy and, not unsurprisingly, one of the areas that has lifted my head, made me buzz, filled me with hope (realised in Jesus, the Christ) and put an added spring in my step.

Funerals conducted in church and Crematorium this week (realised that with 56 on the clock so far this year that it's been a light year and wonder whether that's good or bad?). This week's have seen some me working amazing people who were unsung heroes with so many things to commend them. Interestingly the average age of the four this week was greater than my overall average of 87 - also different from the norm was the fact that the men outlived their wives - usually the other way around!

Started the week with a stunningly joyful, fun-filled and celebratory funeral and the theme continued until the final trip to the crem' on Friday - good to have smiles and laughter as well as tears and solemnity making their appearance.

Engagement with people was, as ever, a mixed bag, and the ability of people to screw things up is always amazing - but the ability to bring clarity and Christ into situations makes the role of pastor and priest a joy - it is no coincidence that I buzz most when engaged with people, don't think I'm ever going to be in love with proecedure and paperwork so I'll leave it to those who enjoy it and thank God for them whilst I head in the opposite direction.

Cherry on the cake this week was someone coming to Christ and beginning their journey into the world of faith. Can there be anything better than seeing someone 'born again' and reconciled to God theory the atoning actions of the Christ? Realised how frustrated I am that I do so little real evangelism and so much of the treadmill. If I were someone who did new year's resolutions (only ever done one - resolved not to do any and kept that one) I'd say 2017 will be a year of winning souls - instead I'll say it more and look to making that happen.

So impressed with Hope - so frustrated with clergy! Why is it that clergy wait for someone to hand them a weapon when they are facing the enemy and merely need to stoop down and pick one up from the ground? When the enemy is before us we take up whatever weapon is to hand and engage them robustly  and with overwhelming fire. But prayer is at a premium rather than commonplace and all around me I find people managing decline and reading from a spreadsheet when they should be populating heaven and reading the Bible!

So blessed to be part of the worshipping communities in Leyfields, Coton Green and Hopwas - Christmas Market, Ladies Craft, Friday Freiends, drop-In, Kid's Club and so much more have been a blessing this week. The school's work is just monster and the opportunities for engagement endless. Amazed I can find time to stop praIsing you Lord.

Sadness of the week has been the person who will never fail because they will never attempt anything  - seems that's the way to be well-regarded by so many - seems to me that this is the reason Church is struggling :-(

Lesson of the week has been the realisation that I as much as I love reading and praying and growing in my knowledge of the word this is something that I have come to regard as something I do when work is done rather than something that's part of the work I do - so another note for 2017 - study, prayer and developing my theological and ministerial skill sets are going to be part of the working week.

Joy of the week are many but topped by Phillip's baptism and the gift that he is to the people of God. To work with people who eagerly desire to know Christ and to celebrate His death and resurrection in the Eucharist is sublime - what a week: Bath and Bread in the spotlight.

So much to thank God for - my paucity, His immensity.



UKViewer said...

Great post. Laying bare the joys and sadness that can run through life in ministry.

And the reflective nature of the post is a lesson for us, whose reflections are sketchy and probably a little lazy.

God Bless your ministry and all who share it with you :)

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

We've lost the challenges and joy that the examen brings - if we don't reflect we don't learn from our errors or expand the successes and joys.

Onwards and ever upwards until He returns

And then - party in!