Monthly Archives: May 2008

The Wild Goose—Kate Rusby

Some more from Kate Rusby—this time, The Wild Goose, which is normally sung a little more raucously than the lovely version Kate has here…

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It’s Church Council tonight!!

From the ever-wonderful Dave Walker!!

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What? Me worry?

Sermon for 25 May ’08

Matthew 6.24-34

A young lad once said to me he wanted to be a Uniting Church minister when he grows up. I was delighted, and asked him why—he said that Uniting Church ministers get to go on planes all the time, and he wanted to do that too, just like me.

In the interests of honesty and transparency, I had to tell him that most ministers don’t get to fly too often.

I’ve flown a bit as a minister, though not as much now as I used to. Some years ago though, I found myself sitting on the tarmac in Sydney, waiting to come home after a meeting. I was used to flying. But suddenly, I felt very, very anxious. I started to feel panicky about flying.

I decided to pray. I cried out to God from the depths, Help me! Stop me from feeling this way! It didn’t work. I felt just as anxious. I berated myself, telling myself very sensibly that I’d flown dozens of times before and survived. I felt just as anxious. Continue reading

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The strong name of the Trinity

I found this great version of the Breastplate of St Patrick on the very interesting Seven whole days blog. It’s a very moving video; I wish I knew about it before Trinity Sunday this year!

Never mind, it’s never too late to praise the triune God:

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The heart’s centre

I’m reading a wonderful little book by Mark Galli called Beyond Smells and Bells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy.

At one point Galli talks about how the liturgy helps us to know God—not an intellectual knowledge alone, not just a knowledge of the heart, but a knowledge that excites imagination. He quotes St Paul (1 Corinthians 2.11-12, here from NRSV):

For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

He then says,

Oxford scholar Stratford Caldecott aptly called [the knowledge of God] sobria ebrietas (“drunken” sobriety)—both “ecstatic, rapturous” and at the same time “measured, ordered, dignified. It is an encounter with the Other which takes the heart out of itself and places it in another centre.”

In other words, this is the knowledge the Bible usually talks about, deeply personal, so deep it is mysterious, so personal that it manifests love.

This is a really evocative passage for me. Galli has nailed love here—it is the heart’s centre being placed in another, and their heart’s centre being placed in us. It applies to human love, and to the love God has for us and we return to God. The centre of our heart is placed in God, and—amazingly!—the centre of God’s heart, the Spirit, is placed in us.

Drunken sobriety, indeed.

 

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In the Name

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Matthew 28.16-20

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning. You hear a loud knock-knock-knock on your door. A loud voice cries: “Open up in the name of the law!”

What do you do? Would you open up?

Or, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. You hear a loud knock-knock-knock on your door. A loud voice cries: “Open up in the name of God!”

What do you do? Would you open up?

Or, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning. You hear a loud knock-knock-knock on your door. A loud voice cries: “Open up in the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!”

What do you do? Would you open up?

If someone knocked on my door in the name of the law, I’d open it and peer around. Very nervously. I wouldn’t want to run foul of the law’s authority.

If someone knocked on my door in the name of God, I’d assume they were in dire straits. I’d open the door expecting to meet someone in great need.

If someone knocked on my door in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I’d wonder what on earth was going on. I’d wonder it was a cross between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Vicar of Dibley outside. I’d sneak a look around the curtains before I opened my door. (Or maybe I’d send my wife out…!)

It’s a strange name, “the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” It sounds like it should be three names, but it’s not. It’s just the one name—the Father, Son and Spirit have one name between them. Continue reading

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Ey oop an’ away

If Yorkshire Airlines existed, this is just how I imagine it would be! Hilarious!! 

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Filed under humour, Yorkshire