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Moses at the Burning bush my digidisciple blog for Feb
Mark 2:1-17 (2-13)
The first point that Tom talks about is the word ‘come’ and it made me ponder about calling and how we speak of our individual calling. I was ordained deacon in 2010 & priested the following June and when I talk about my ‘calling’ and where I am I talk about ‘being here’. By speaking about ‘being here’ I am saying I came to be present in the place where I am curate, for a specific reason – well maybe more than one reason, but certainly to do something specific. The calling to the specific place has been in my heart since I first moved to Chester, but didn’t really think much about it as I didn’t live in Chester and wouldn’t have dreamt of attending the cathedral!! However there was a very strong ‘pull’ towards the cathedral even though I didn’t understand it. When it came to having to speak about my potential curacy I wasn’t going to mention this feeling as it seemed so bizarre and way out. However in the end I did and the rest is history.
Why I am the one to be the first curate here and what I can bring to this special place I don’t know, but I am here and it isn’t just for the people in the Cathedral congregations, that much I know. Just as Jesus did not come for the healthy, I don’t believe I am simply there for the people who are regular attendees although that is part of it, but for those who are unsure of God, who are struggling with issues of life and faith.
Tom also talks about befriending ‘dodgy’ or ‘shady’ people, how it reflects badly on ‘famous’ people, how it calls their judgment into question and that Jesus did that because he was ‘recognized as someone claiming to speak for God’. Jesus spoke to everyone he met, because he loved and wanted to heal bodies and minds, his task from God was to do that. If I am a disciple of God, and am called to be present in the city I live in, to be a presence that hopefully engages with those around to try to draw them into a relationship with God through Christ, then perhaps I too need to love the unlovely, touch the untouchable, speak to the unspeakable, regardless of what it does to my reputation! My challenge to myself and all Christians, during Lent is ‘to Love God, love others and love ourselves, even those we might not want to love, in order that we might hear His calling, experience his healing all because of his amazing unconditional Love.
Take time to rest… My digidisciple blog for Jan…
2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:2-3 NRSV
On Saturday and Sunday of this past week, I had to work, but Saturday is supposed to be my day off! During the week I work for a University 3 days as a Senior Lecturer in the theology dept and 2 days as chaplain. I am also in my 3rd year as a curate in the cathedral. Due to the different aspects of my work life, there are times when there simply isn’t enough time in the week, to get everything done as was the case last weekend. However, I know full well that time off is important for my health & wellbeing as well as for my lectures to be well planned, sermons to be well written and other things to be done – including tidying my house!
This week, I have been in the dept by 8.40 for the first three days, however I was also out (with work) until 10.15 yesterday evening, with only my evening meal at home. Consequently I am really tired today and am still trying to get over flu and a cold, which won’t happen if I don’t get enough rest and recuperation!! Rest is something I need and at times crave, and something that God did and was a good role model in that. I know I have to get the work done, but sometimes it would be good, if there were more hours in a day, or less things to do in a week.
I do aim to have my day off every week, and think this is something that some of us need to be more accountable to others about. So I am going to find someone I can be accountable to in respect of my day off, how about you? The world isn’t going to cave in if you rest…
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard John’s witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, “We’ve found the Messiah” (that is, “Christ”). He immediately led him to Jesus. Jesus took one look up and said, “You’re John’s son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas” (or Peter, which means “Rock”). (John 1:40-42 MSG)
This morning was my Sunday off after Christmas and so having had a bit of a lie in, I went to a different church. I had checked the website for the time and arrived 4 minutes for what I thought was the start of the service only to find I had missed the first hour due to it being Christmas and the time not being changed on the website! It wasn’t a big deal, as I was there for the talk which reminded us of the need to be constantly keeping in mind what God is saying to us as individuals as well as the church. When Andrew heard what John the Baptist said, he didn’t want to keep it too himself, instead he went and told his brother and led him to Jesus. Too often we hear something that we need to hear and do something about in our lives and a couple of days later it has been forgotten due to our consumerist style of life where there is always something new or different to take our mind off the place of God in our lives. If we are aware of how amazing God is why don’t we want to tell everyone about the amazing God we worship, both through our lives and through conversations?
This is something I have been thinking about recently as I know I don’t talk enough or show people how much God loves them and yet it is something that ought to always be at the forefront of my mind. Where is God in my life, in my work, in my leisure & in my worship is something I want to be the question that I am always asking and that people also ask me! I think that sometimes we don’t keep the question at the front of our minds because we are scared of what we might have to do or stop, and yet God is Love and his is the perfect Love that casts out all fear. Perhaps 2013, might be the year when God becomes first place in our lives, where people who have let their love for God grow cold allow it to become warm again, where people who do not yet know God, come to know the God who loves them infinitely more than they can ever imagine.
“To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.
Luke 6:27 (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 Eugene H. Peterson by NavPress Publishing
This was the verse that was my daily verse for the day on Thursday of this week, two days after the vote in relation to women bishops fell at the last minute by 6 votes. I will always remember where I was and what I was doing ( as I do to this day on 9/11, the vote for women priests went through and plenty of other things) because of the surprising numbness I felt. I knew I would feel sad, but the numbness took me completely by surprise.
For most of my life I was laity, doing stuff in lay leadership yes, but laity all the same. When I became a deacon in 2010 it was one of the most amazing days of my life, and still laity underneath, but different as well now, because I had become part of a group of women, who could be senior members of a diocese as in Dean of a cathedral, arch deacons of a diocese, but would never be allowed to go further until legislation was passed. It didn’t bother me personally in 2010 that I couldn’t be a bishop as a) I’m too old and b) I really don’t care about status and high ranking positions, what I care about is that whoever is doing a job, does it to the best of their ability with the help of God. I know some women who would be excellent bishops as well as those who wouldn’t, just as with men, some are good, some are not as good. However, what we all need to remember is that whatever we think or feel, is that if we are not listening to God and loving everyone regardless of who they are, what they think, how they treat us, we are not loving God as we have been told to love. I pray for my brothers and sisters (known and unknown) who are hurting because of not wanting to see women consecrated as bishops, I pray for those who struggle to see any women in the priesthood, I pray for those who have the task to discern the way forward, to put aside their own individual agenda, be it for or against and to listen for where God is in all of this situation. I pray for my sisters and brothers (known and unknown ) who are also deeply hurt because they were hoping to see women becoming bishops, that they like me can continue to love and respect, but to pray for a way forward that respects and treats women as equal in the sight of God, as it says in Galatians 3:28.
Let us live the servant-life and show Christlike love even if we do not get the same love back… We don’t do it because of what we get back, we do it because Christ so loved us, that he died for us, in order to rise again so that we might have everlasting life. Not a life of back stabbing and cheap jibes at each other, but a life of trying to love each other and a life of unity with each other. All these petty and divisive arguments are because we all want our own way, and yet God shows us how to live through the life of Jesus and the scriptures, and yet all too often we take the scriptures we like and ignore the ones we don’t like. Let us stop acting like little children who can only cope with milk and become the mature women and men of God who deal with stuff together listening only to God and not our own selfish agenda. To feel angry, hurt, let down is ok too, but to move on beyond this is the important part, to show Christ to those who do not know Him yet.