Monday, 27 February 2012

Like A Goat

As part of my Lenten stuff I am working through Richard Rohr's Wondrous Encounters which offers reflections and Bible readings for each day of Lent.  The day's material ends with what Rohr describes as a 'starter prayer', just a sentence or two to get you praying.  I think it is a great idea and there are some amazingly helpful concepts in the few such starter prayers with which I have already engaged.

Today's Gospel passage comes from Matthew 25 and reflects the 'when I needed a neighbour' concept but is set, of course, in the context of the saying about separating the sheep from the goats - and I just love the starter prayer, which hits a profound truth - "Loving God, allow me to be a sheep at least once in a while, and never let me forget that most of my life I have been a goat."

Friday, 24 February 2012

Celebrate What You Are

One of our problems in the mainline denominations in these early years of the 21st century is that we are too good at saying too much about what we can't do.  We bemoan our lacks.  It is perfectly appropriate that we should challenge ourselves, but we would do better to focus more on what we have achieved and what is within possibility.  Of course, there are things at which we have failed.   Of course, we have not done all we should, or been all we should.  But why do we focus so much on these things?  It is also true that today's church is doing a lot of really good stuff.  Let us celebrate what we are and what we have done and, instead of beating ourselves up about what we can't do, let's get on with what we can - because it is rather likely for that to be what God is calling us to do.

Friday, 10 February 2012


On Tuesday evening I was at Westminster Abbey for a service in which the United Reformed Church and the Church of England sought to heal memories and to make a commitment to joint working.  It was in the turbulent mid-seventeenth century that many were forced to leave the Church of England in a  move that became known as the Great Ejection.  Those who refused to conform with the way set down to do and be church - non-conformists - had to find new places where they could worship. 

This is also the 40th anniversary of the formation of the United Reformed Church in 1972, a union that was marked with a uniting service in Westminster Abbey.  There are still many things that divide us, and we need to continue to find genuine ways to demonstrate our unity in Christ.