Tuesday, December 19, 2006
For Sunday's mayBe Eucharist we were out on the meadow again - it's a cathedral to us, more than ever - and we were working [briefly - it was a beautiful but cold day] with the day's Gospel reading from Luke 3. This is the uncomfortable passage where John the Baptiser pictures the Messiah coming with 'winnowing-fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.’ Big thanks here to sarcastic lutheran Nadia who had posted something on this on her blog last week. As a result we found ourselves wondering what might be the wheat and chaff in our lives as individuals and community - and if there might be stuff that we think of as chaff which might in God's care actually be wheat [and vice versa]? For our ritual we threw our wheat and chaff [OK porridge oats and suflower seeds] into the air, saying "my wheat and chaff". Seemed to work, and left me trying to understand what my wheat and chaff might be. The pic is by forever-mayBe Steve back visiting us from Bristol.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
In June 1977 I went to a big outdoor gig at Knebworth with my best buddy Mike [and about 60.000 others]. Genesis were headlining, Jefferson Starship were on the bill, and Devo were met with a hail of bottles, but the other band I really wanted to see were then up-and-coming Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from the USA. And very good they were too. I remember Tom Petty wearing a big black top hat like the undertaker in a spaghetti western. They felt like a bridge between a lot of the rock stuff I had first got into in the early 70s, and the punky stuff I was into in 1977. Listening this morning to their first album, and I got that vinyl rush again...
A thought re vows and blessings that we made as community on Advent Sunday coming out of a conversation with someone in mayBe. We might imagine [and did] that in the high that came from making these vows we would feel particularly 'spiritual' in the days following, and that the vows would be relatively easy. Not so. Both of us were finding it tough going. I suppose this isn't surprising. In my experience it's often when we commit to something - anything - that the real testing of that commitment comes, and this I think is true whether we put that down to 'the way life is', or see it - as the Church does and the saints always have done - as part of a bigger struggle between God's good world coming and death-dealing, dehumanising powers. So the struggle is to be expected. How did we forget that? I'm holding onto the idea that we're not alone in this. That Christ is our companion and friend. And that there's a whole bunch of hopeful-falling-rising-dogged pilgrims from around the world and across the centuries who are somehow with us...
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Sunday night was a big deal for us. This year on Advent Sunday, as last year, the mayBe community made vows and prayed for God's blessing on our life. The vows we are using are largely inspired by what we found in the Rule of St Benedict, but also shaped by some contemporary verisions of the monastic life. And they are seriously demanding. The only way I'll have any chance of living them out at all is, as the refrain goes each time "with God's help, and your prayers". I'm playing U2's "I will follow" a lot at the moment, a soundtrack to vow-making? You can now check out and/or download a copy of the vows on the mayBe website. After the Eucharist we went as always to the pub. See pic of Jackie, Chris and Cara.