There is but one way…

… to get rid of the snow, and that it to build a sled for the children.  When I have finished it, (June or July sometime) the snow will be gone!  Whilst deciding whether or not to clear the drive and risk the car this morning – (nah, walk!) I was browsing a few books that need finishing.  See my not quite a new year resolution.  At the back of Rowan Williams’ Silence and Honey cakes there is an interesting question and answer section.  In one he expands a little on Vladimir Lossky’s idea of individual and person.

He suggests:

“For every person there is one way in which they can show God, and only they can do it like that.”

I like this attitude very much.  It is respectful of personal distinctiveness.  It allows for a diversity seldom approached in the church.   If reflects the sermon I chickened out of a week or so ago on John 1:10-18. It was mainly on verse 17  and the meaning of the words from which are derived the phrase ‘Grace and Truth’ mainly in the Hebrew word Chesed.  The part at which I stopped short would have said that we have created anew the law and are living in subservience to that, rather than in witness to the ‘Grace and Truth’.  If you take this to its (I’ll have to say ‘perhaps’ here because I’m part of the problem) logical conclusion the structures and organisation or business based Church (basically control) which we run is putting into a small box something that was never intended to be contained and until we let go of control and allow people to be ruled by the heart we will always be smothering something beautiful.  To be continued, after another book I’ve not yet finished – A Celtic Model of Ministry.

Minister as Midwife and Servant

We celebrated with Ruth last night as she was ordained into the Church of Scotland as a ‘Minister of Word and Sacrament’  at Lochmaben.  It was her father’s comments to which the title alludes as he preached with reference to Exodus 1:15-21 (Midwife) and Mark 10:35-45 (Servant).

Enabling the congregation to fulfil their potential is a birthing process, a process that requires the skills of a midwife, but one who is also the least of all and servant to the people.  A wonderful image of a minister, one who enables the (re)birthing of peoples skills time and talents for God’s kingdom.   It was great to be there for Ruth’s ordination, if not a little saddle sore after a 6 hour round trip!!

Any fool can make things complicated

E.F. Schumacher said that:

“Any fool can make things complicated, but it requires a genius to make things simple.”

Satish Kumar quoted this in Resurgence Then went on to say that

“Simplicity requires less ego and more imagination, less complication and more creativity, less glamour and more gratitude, less attention to appearance and more attention to essence.”

On the basis on E. F. Schumacher’s thinking there have I guess been a very small number of geniuses in the world of religion, George Fox perhaps, a Desert Father or two, oh and of course our dear Lord Jesus!  Looking forward to next Sunday’s Gospel reading, John 10: 11-18 and indeed the Genesis reading, a good dose of simplicity would suit all around!