New life…

God of spring time

as the frost melts

and the trees bud

may I cross over

from darkness to light

from grumbling to appreciation

from hesitating to striding

from boredom to creativity

from looking down to gazing up

from indifference to your Passion

from chill to warmth and love

in this world and the next.

(found here on beautyfromchaos)

Picture is ‘new life’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

letting go…

Some prayerful thoughts for Wednesday about letting go of our most human failings:

Lord – let our memory
provide no shelter
for grievance
against another.
Lord – let our heart
provide no harbour
for hatred of another.
Lord – let our tongue
be no accomplice
in the judgement of a brother.

Amen

(Northumbrian Office)

Photo is ‘desert waterfall’ by Joshua Cripps found here. If you subscribe to this wonderful site they send you a photo every day with its story.

meaning in the waiting…

Kneeling – a poem about waiting. very appropriate as Lent draws to a close.

Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Still; all that close throng
Of spirits waiting, as I,
For the message.
Prompt me, God;
But not yet. When I speak,
Though it be you who speak
Through me, something is lost.
The meaning is in the waiting.

 R. S. Thomas,

Hold tight…

A snatch of liturgy for Friday from Cheryl at holdthisspace…  posted for everyone who is having a difficult time at the moment… hold tight

battle-scarred and tired
we watch you lift yourself
again
into the hardness of today

the cliches sit on the edge of our
tongue
left unspoken
in respect for their futility
and your new hard won wisdom

hold tight
we whisper
a prayer for ourselves
as much as you

hold tight

(Picture was taken by no1 daughter of no2 daughter at Culzean Castle park)

So we pray…

Still on a faith theme… I came across this reflection on [hold::this space]

it takes faith

it will take grace to let others here be different to our expectations of them
so we pray for grace

it will take courage for each of us to live beyond the story we know of ourselves
so we pray for courage

it will take wisdom to believe we don’t have all the answers
so we pray for wisdom

it will take hope to believe our future is not yet determined
so we pray for hope

in the story of god all expectations are defied
all things are made possible
the whole world is made new

it will take faith to live as though this can be our story
and so we pray for faith.

Eternal perspective…

My previous blog was called “Rumours of Angels”  and it carried the strap line “all is in flux turn, but a stone and an angel moves” taken from this prayer (Man is made to rise) written by the Very Rev Dr George Fielden MacLeod, Baron MacLeod of Fuinary (founder of the Iona Community).

It is about seeing the world through the eyes of faith, seeing beyond the earthly to the eternal:

 Invisible we see You, Christ above us.
With earthy eyes we see above us, clouds or sunshine, grey or bright.
But with the eye of faith we know you reign:
instinct in the sun ray
speaking in the storm,
warming and moving all creation, Christ above us.

We do not see all things subject unto You.
But we know that man is made to rise.
Already exalted, already honoured, even now our
citizenship is in heaven
Christ above us, invisible we see You.

Invisible we see You, Christ beneath us.
With earthly eyes we see beneath us stones and dust and dross,
fit subjects for the analyst’s table.
But with the eye of faith, we know You uphold.
In You all things consist and hang together:
the very atom is light energy
the grass is vibrant,
the rock pulsate.

All is in flux, turn but a stone and an angel moves.
Underneath are the everlasting arms.
Unknowable we know you, Christ beneath us.

If you have never read any of George MacLeod’s prayers then I commend them to you – a great place to start is this book Daily Readings with George MacLeod.

(Photo is of pebbles on Chesil Beach from davesdistrictblog)

Stripped down

A reflection as Sunday approaches…  from Roddy at Listening to the stones.

It seemed appropriate for a week which saw the resignation of an Archbishop and in which some personal priorities are being examined and reassessed.

What pads your faith?

What will draw you to worship?

What needs laid aside?

………………………………………………………

Lord Jesus

when you strip our faith down to the wood and nails
that’s all we have
wood and nails

all the glamour of robes
all the wealth of the church
all the comfort of cathedrals
is worth nothing

when you strip it all down to the wood and nails
that’s all we have
wood and nails
and a story of love

all the great ministers of the church
the cascade of church history
and mighty holy empires
and reformations

when you strip it all down to the wood and nails
that’s all we have
wood and nails
and a story of love

and the many theology books written
and the great universities of divinity
and the councils that fashioned creeds
and the world wide web of religion

when you strip it all down to the wood and nails
that’s all we have
wood and nails
and a story of love

Here is our corrective
our moment to lay aside
that which pads our faith
and affirm that which draws us here

for when you strip it all down to the wood and nails
that’s all we have
wood and nails
and a story of love

May we let go
and be held instead.

Image is ‘wood and nails’ found here at deviantart.com

wash me

This is one of my favourite meditations from Cheryl at  hold this space . I was reading it again and was reminded of its energy – an energy that I am sadly lacking at the moment.  Also the eternal perspective it offers is just what I needed today 🙂

wash me in the water
that tells the story of life.
wash me in the water that has soothed the ache
quenched the thirst
bathed the sore
wash me in the water
that has carved valleys
from recalcitrant rocks
and new landscapes
out of the impossible
and impermeable
wash me in the water that has destroyed and created
that holds the promise of living and dying
in every drop
wash me in the water that holds all history’s story
wash me in the water
so it will tell mine…

picture is ‘hallelujah!’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

Do it anyway…

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

A Lenten reflection attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. A reminder that serving God should be our primary motivation in life. Pleasing people is so often a fruitless exercise.

Picture is ‘keep calm and carry on’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr

Anxious activity

A prayer for Monday and a challenge for those of us who fill our days with anxious activity.

Lord Almighty, we say we want to serve you, we say we want to help others less fortunate than ourselves, we say we want justice. But the truth is, we want power and status because we so desperately need to be loved. Free us from our self-fascination and the anxious activity it breeds, so that we might be what we say we want to be – loved by you and thus capable of unselfish service. Amen.

Stanley Hauerwas, Prayers Plainly Spoken (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 49 (found here)

Photo is ‘escalator’ by Jonny Baker on Flickr