Let’s remember our roots

Some of you are aware that amidst our memorabilia at CMM we have an original handwritten letter by John Wesley, dated 1772. We are looking forward to displaying this and other memorabilia as soon as the sanctuary has been painted.

As I was reflecting on Methodist history I remembered a delightful exchange of communication written by the Duchess of Buckingham to the Countess of Huntingdon. Lady Huntingdon was a supporter of the Wesleyans (Methodists).

“I thank your ladyship for the information concerning the Methodist Preachers. Their doctrines are most repulsive, and strongly tinctured with impertinence and disrespect towards their superiors, in perpetually endeavouring to level all ranks, and do away with all distinctions. It is monstrous to be told that you have a heart as sinful as the common wretches that crawl on the earth. This is highly offensive and insulting, and I cannot but wonder that your ladyship should relish any sentiment so much at variance with high rank and good breeding.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if CMM were to be accused of levelling all ranks and do away with all distinctions!

Lets be radical — meaning, let’s remember our roots!  Alan

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Demand equality

On Monday afternoon I went to see The King’s Speech — a movie about King George VI who had a speech impediment from a very young age.  His stammering made it impossible for him to make public speeches. In 1939, however, war was declared with Germany and the King was expected to bring a word of comfort and courage to the nation. The King’s Speech is one of personal triumph and how it was achieved — most notably through a transformative friendship with a speech therapist.

I will not tell you anymore about the movie except to make an observation: Lionel Logue (the speech therapist) insisted on referring to the king as Bertie (the name used only by his wife and family) and not Your Royal Highness, as royal etiquette required. Instead, Lionel demanded a relationship of equality. By using the name Bertie, he related to the king as a person first before his role as king.

To be healed of our own stuttering lives we all need relationships of equality where we are seen as people first, regardless of our role or position. O God fill our lives with Lionel-like-people as we pray to be Lionel-like-people to others.

Peace, Alan
Sunday 3 April 2011

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Sunday 20th March

Today is the start of National Water Week.  Now I am sure you know that nearly 97% of all the world’s water is salty, or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves only 1% for all of our needs!  And 70% of that is used for irrigation and 20% used by industry—so we are left with about 0.1% of the world’s water for us to actually drink.  Making fresh, drinkable water a very precious resource!

We live on the driest continent on the planet that is likely to become more and more drought-stricken due to severe climate change.  For example Africa’s Lake Chad, once a landmark for astronauts circling the earth, is now difficult for them to locate.  The lake has shrunk 96% in 40 years.  Closer to home, we only need to think back to Beaufort West that ran out of water in December.

Jesus asked a woman for a drink in Samaria and for a moment it was touch and go whether he would have his thirst met.  Later on the Cross, amongst his final words he cried out was, “I thirst”.  This will certainly be the cry of our century if we do not use water much more sparingly, as well as begin harvesting rainwater and the like.

Please consider making this part of our Lenten journey towards the “Cross of thirst”.  Alan.

 

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