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.

Lament and Rejoice

My offering for tomorrow, reflection on a year past and hope for a brighter one to come!

To lament a leaf…

How empty stands the winter tree,
once with a canopy full of leaves.
How bare you are without adornments,
No green covering to shade and protect.

You wept bitterly in the early autumn sun,
As golden leaves turned from the sky and fell to earth.
Your glorious array of colour, vibrant life,
dropped away to leave stark winter branches.

Clinging to the last of them as a mother clings to her children,
Grieving for the splendour of your, once, majestic arches,
Now standing alone, bleak and bereft.
Mourning the life that stood proud in the sun.

Your splendour, once in golden leaf,
has become desolate and black,
carpeting the earth with mildew,
A spreading blanket of decay.

Once life giving, energy changing,
capturing, receiving and pouring out.
Now lying still, lifeless, the last goodness
leaching out into the damp soil beneath.

In despair you stand at the end of winter,
the last clutches of frost at the tips of your branches.
Silent now, rejected by your beloved.
Small tendrils of mist rising to meet the warming sun.

… is to rejoice in new-birth

Come and see what death has become,
bend low and take in the stench of decay.
The warmth in the blanket of leaves,
New life nestling in the carpet of detritus.

A green finger rising through the warm earth,
pointing towards the empty canopy which gave it life.
A shoot emerging from hibernation
growth in the midst of the chaos.

The leaves that died here left their legacy,
of goodness and nutrients.
One life given up for the good of another,
a completion of the story of all that lives.

Slowly the old tree feels the warmth in her roots,
the familiar tingling of sap rising.
A glimmer of memory that is behind and before;
The sticky sweet buds that bear the new hope.

The last song of the dying leaf was not its golden colours,
it is the bright, vibrant green of new growth.
A winter of despondency, gives way to the spring of rejoicing,
The new canopy is reborn rising majestically from the ashes of the last.