adrift with the christ

The Parish Away day in preparation for Holy Week Easter – focussing on seeing a larger Christ.

A meditation in preparation for time spent in quiet with the hills, woods, chickens and bees!

Psalm 62

(Music: ‘Nunc Dimittis’ Christian Forshaw)
It is as if we are dead to the world that is before us. And we must die to this life to be reborn as children of the one who gives us life. It is as if we are dead to the world.

There is no divide, yet we have cut ourselves away, as if not a part of the rest of the world.

(Music: ‘Adrift’ Iona)
Smoke rises up as if from the water all around, there is no land in sight, we are cast adrift in the land where there is no separation, encompassing all that is, that has been and that shall be.

Cast us adrift to float in the in-between world that connects us from the fake to the real, from the selfish to the generous, from fighting against to working with, from the arrogant to the humble.

(Music: ‘Irish Day’ Iona)
The dawning of a new day comes as sand to the keel. It is time to awaken from our slumber, to re-engage, re-create, re-generate. Who we once were, that we shall be again. In harmony with rather than against, walking alongside rather than trampling over.

Open our eyes to see the beauty within us and around us.

Awaken in us the yearning spirit which is connected at the deepest level to every living, breathing, growing being. To trees, rivers, mountains, grass, animals, fish. enable us to see they are created in your image as we are. Reconnect us to each other.

For they honour you with each budding, petal opening, leaf unfolding. The quiet breath, the crawling life transforming, the buzzing of the faithful servant.

And it is the Christ in whom they have their being, Christ who was before all things, is in all things and through all things.

Where your treasure is – there is your heart.

Treasure it, love it, live it, breathe it, honour it and live in the knowledge and light of the christ, in the unity that defies definition or description.

Ashes to ashes…

…dust to dust!

Lent book and paper

Maggi's book amongst the recycled paper

My study employs an open cast filing system.  So much so that as I’m preparing to move this Lent, it seems a great opportunity to clear the rubble and gather only the important things after the dust has settled.  Lent of course is a great time to do this.  Rather than throw away or recycle some of the paper I’ve been making new paper myself.  I had already made a number of sheets of brand new paper out of the rubbish.  I’m reading this Lent Maggi Dawn’s Giving it up, she speaks about “clearing out the mental and spiritual clutter”  Hopefully the strips of recycled paper I attached to our Ash Wednesday service sheets will serve as a reminder that if we clear away the clutter – all things can be made new!

Living Nativity

Because the Holy Trinity Church in Greenfield is closed for building works, we had a choice this year to do nothing, or to take the opportunity to do something different to mark Christmas in the community.

We wanted to give the community the opportunity to be part of the story, rather than just listening to it or sitting through a service done for them by others.  Everyone had a part to play in our Living Nativity and it included the whole community because we walked the streets of the village telling the story.  As well as traditional readings and carols we heard from the not-so-wise ‘wise man’ shopping for the baby Jesus, we heard the tale of the farmer, irate that the shepherd would leave his sheep and go into town, we heard from the ‘village gossips’ about Mary and Joseph running away together because of the ‘illegitimate’ child.  The story, as well as Jesus, was brought down to earth this Christmas in Greenfield.

Over seventy people turned out onto the streets of Greenfield this year, many of them not regular church goes, proof that in our largely individual lives, people are crying out for events such as this where they can gather together as community, not for church necessarily, but to celebrate and join together.  I think it is essential to do something together like this which builds better community and is food for the soul and for our society.

I believe the event showed that Christmas is not just about presents, tinsel and turkey, or even about going to church once a year, but about something which is shared out amongst the community.  There was no Mary or Joseph in our stable, hastily constructed out of straw, at the back of the Packet House, because we were all playing those roles.  There was no Jesus in the manger, because this year, Jesus was born into the manger of our hearts where, hopefully, he will be cradled and nurtured.

Various news clips from the event…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8429181.stm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pg4yr/Good_Morning_Wales_23_12_2009/  From 1:53

Ac yn Gymraeg!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00pdztn/Post_Cyntaf_23_12_2009/  From 1:28