Have a Blessed New Year
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths
And superficial relationships
So that you may live
Deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression
And exploitation of people
So that you may work for
Justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain
Rejection, hunger and war
So that you may reach out your hand
To comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can
Make a difference in the world
So that you can do
What others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness
To all our children and the poor.
In God’s great grace we say “Amen – so be it”.
A Franciscan Blessing which is used as the Benediction at CMM.
Image: Jason Fowler www.sustainabletraditions.com
The Gospel in Brief by Leo Tolstoy – a fascinating read.
You will be relieved to know that it has fewer pages in it than
War and Peace but it is equally powerful.
After the New Year’s Eve Service I felt like I had eaten a beautifully nourishing and tasty meal. You know that feeling when your body rejoices – when the meal “hits the spot”? Well that is how I felt. And I don’t know why I was surprised really because we have been told that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God. And on New Year’s I was fed by the word.
The two hours of shared silence provided the sacred setting to read a single passage of scripture (Colossians 3) over and over and over again – until it literally became part of me – like food fully digested. As I read the scripture, the scripture read my life – convicting me and inspiring me – and leaving me energised to run the race of faithfulness set before me.
Not only did I need this nourishing time, but even more, I needed the reminder that without silence and meditation I would be left malnourished and without the necessary strength to journey faithfully.
Like the other day when a friend took me mountain bike riding; it was my first time out on the dirt. He chose a single track going up past Rhodes Memorial. It was too much for me. My level of fitness and skill were not up to it so we sought out an easier path – a broader road that was not as steep. As any mountain biker will tell you, it is the single track (narrow way) that you live for (even born for), but this takes hours in the saddle. It takes training. It takes practice.
Jesus invites us to journey with him on the narrow way, the single track that we were born for. It is the way of compassion and kindness. The way of humility and gentleness. The way of truth and mercy. It is the way of generosity and justice. It is the way of accepting the grace-full gift that we have been forgiven and we should forgive ourselves and learn to forgive others for therein lays our peace as well as the peace of the world. This all takes training – training in silence and meditation.
Let’s start, Alan!
PS: Remember Covenant Preparation: 23 and 24 January at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary – see post below.