... Stop doing it!
Having managed to let my account on a computer system become 'moribund' I had to visit the person responsible for putting it back on line. When told how I needed to log in regularly to ensure that this didn't happen, my grovelling apology was met by this good advice.
The problem is that whilst the person giving it was right, and the advice even better, I realised that this is not the way to behave if you're a Vicar! Or is it?
Too often we clergy take the path of least resistance. So often my colleagues are to be found smiling and avoiding any contentious subject. After all, what would Jesus do? Obviously He'd smile and explain that what they person in front of them was doing was fine and dandy because at thinned of the day, Jesus only came to tell everyone that God wanted them to be happy.
Lifestyle choices? well, none of them are re4ally choices are they? We are all pre-programmed and so whatever we do, well we don't have a choice do we? It who we are man!
As for sin: What is sin really, it';s a label we use to put people down and condemn them. That's not what builds the Church at all - in fact it's the very opposite, it makes people not want to come. After all, who wants to join a club where people tell you that you are wrong?
And freedom of opinion: Everyone has the right to hold a view on everything. But be careful that you don't hold one that disagrees with those who hold the view that everyone has the right to have an opinion because you'll find yourself pilloried and prevented from being a bishop somewhere! But should there be someone with an opinion that contradicts the opinion of others (and possibly the Bible) you'll find that people clamour to promote them!
What a perverse bunch of dualistic, sinful people, we are. What we need is God to turn up in person to offer advice and show us how it should be done.
What's that Sooty? You say that God's already done that. Surely not, because if that was the case, wouldn't we be living differently because of it?
The key these days is to affirm everyone and to look to the young as the salvation of the Church.
Yeah - perhaps not!!!
But for me, apart from a couple of conversations reflected in the above reflection, I've had a great day with home Communions, funeral visits, reflection and study and a meg Kid's Club. In fact it's been so good I reckon I probably need to become a galactic commander and lead a covert battle group against the enemy because I've realised that many of those in high office know rock all - so I'd fit in so very well - at worst and perhaps make a difference if I could throw two sixes.
God is the person who gives me life, love, forgiveness and discipline. He (sorry if this offends) is the person who draws the lines and states the blinking obvious when it comes to things sinful: STOP IT!
Lord, lead me into righteousness. Uncover my sins and show me the way forward. Bid up my wounds and show me Your healing. Instruct me ears and anoint my lips to speak Your words of life.
Your are my help, my strength, my rock, my love and my life: And I love You.