Hem of the Garment

I came across this phrase again whilst reading an exegesis the other day, it was of course in the Daughter of Jairus and that bleeding woman story, (not even going to attempt to spell the other word for that!!) I suppose the disciples might have called her that, a)if they spoke english, b)if they understood a play on words.  I digress.

It just seems such an appropriate term for occasional offices, and now the project we are embarking on in one of our churches.  Now I know community involvement in a church is not new.  However it seems like cutting edge to some of the people around here, so cutting edge that they are afraid they might get hurt by it!!

So, the hem of the garment, those small activities which hover around the fringes of the established 'church' (by that I mean the church groups which are in existence, not any one denomination) should, and that is a big should, touch the hem of the garment.  There should be enough contact with people within the church for something to pass over, a glimmer of the kingdom perhaps, some unconditional love, shown in the way we deal with others.  As I write, I guess the Jairus story which bookends the Hemorrhaging (or however you spell it) woman story could represent the church community being shown just how important all the little fringe events, groups community activities, baptisms etc. are.  Perhaps there is a sermon in there for sometime, I know not.

Death

Nice light hearted topic for a saturday morning…

Not sure if others have had the same experiences as this, but there seems to be good proportion of people who cannot deal with death.  That might sound like a normal problem, yet when one is constantly coming across people who say they blame God for taking so and so too early, or that they cannot go to church because so and so had their funeral there it becomes a little strange.  It is almost as if there has been no education about the subject, people seem to speak of it with fear, something unnatural, yet to me the end of a life is as natural as the beginning of it.  Some people may die young, of disease or accident, perhaps some of these incidents should not have happened, yet they do.  Blaming God for a death, or being so scared about the prospects not to enter a church where a particular funeral has taken place is there way of not confronting the issue.  The only way to confront these issues is too it on a one to one basis as each case is completely different, yet it seems like i'm doing death all the time.  It would be nice to focus on life for once!!

Weddings

Weddings – I seem to remember from distant (!) days at St. Mike’s were supposed to be the showcase for the best of what happens in church – this is a particularly painful memory when drawling out ‘Give me oil in my lamp’ with perhaps four or five other strong singers (congregation of about 150) I guess it is not only the terraces that have lost the art of singing. Perhaps for my first wedding ‘solo’ I should invite the Welsh chapel congregation to bolster the voice.

It is really hard to muster a good spirit of a joyous occasion, not necessarily with alcohol, when no-one sings. Especially when those songs are ones which everyone and their Gran grew up with. Perhaps the Welsh plan to get the terraces singing again needs to be enlarged to occasional office congregations!