Thursday, 20 December 2012
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Sunday, 4 November 2012
Sunday, 14 October 2012
Sunday, 23 September 2012
Sunday, 19 August 2012
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Monday, 28 May 2012
Sunday, 11 March 2012
I came across a wall full of plaques like this. It is in Postman’s Park near to St Paul’s in the City of London. All the plaques are about people who gave their lives trying to save others.
Several years ago I was by the river in Greenwich near the Cutty Sark. It was mid evening and I noticed a young black guy on the parapet overlooking the river swaying precariously. He was drinking from a bottle. I should have grabbed him and pulled him back from the parapet even if it meant a bit of a fracas.
The inevitable happened and he went over into the river. I looked down and it was quite a way down into the Thames and the water was running fast. I am not a good swimmer and have never done any lifesaving. I knew that if I jumped in I would not be of any use and would probably drown as well. That is my justification anyway.
Fortunately, a young man saw what happened and took off his jeans and shoes and went in and saved the man.
There was once a man who knew that He could save the whole human race from its rebellious nature or at least those who were willing to accept His sacrifice. He did not draw back like I did from giving his life. The real reason being that He loved in way that I do not and was totally free of selfishness.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
These lines from St Augustine have perhaps become cliche´d. The third and fourth lines are so often quoted now that I fear they have lost their wonderful truth. Also, it often comes detached from the second line which is the key to not having a restless heart in the first place. We inhabit a world, increasingly true in the West, where we do not acknowledge that Man was made for God. Man increasingly believes he was made autonomous and his heart will be restless until it has all it desires ie material goods, fame, status and sexual satisfaction.
Coming over Waterloo Bridge I was confronted by this sign. It was attached to a building in the South Bank which is probably the most important cultural centre in the UK. There was no other slogan to suggest how we fight nothingness. Perhaps it is meant to apply particularly to the arts. If you have seen Sartre’s play In Camera you will know how depressing and nihilistic art without God can become. My thoughts went immediately to St Augustine’s lines as a defence mechanism. Sad then if they are devalued by overuse.
The other lines that are in danger of being over quoted are ‘Footprints In The Sand’ which I now see as a poster, framed to go on your wall and the other day I heard someone say they were going to read a poem and then read Footprints. It has been made into a song.
Expect Footprints the Movie. I was rather pleased then to hear Tim Vine ( a Christian comedian so he is family and is allowed ) gently satirising it.
‘My beloved child, when you look back and see one set of footprints, it is then I should tell you that at that point I thought we should both hop.’
Friday, 20 January 2012
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord or the work which he had done for Israel. 2 Judges 10.
This verse follows the death of Joshua, a courageous and completely obedient servant of God. The photo is the church where I went as a child, my mother is buried, one of my sisters was married and I was probably christened. I went to Sunday School there and was in the choir.
My parents like the generation after Joshua stopped going to church. Perhaps it was a reaction to the Second World Way. I followed suit caught up in my own rebelliousness. I remember though the church being the centre of much of our lives. The rector visited on his bike and we went on church socials. We sang hymns in assembly even though it was a state school. The church helped us ‘match, hatch and be dispatched.’
I see a generation of young folk who shop and go to internet cafes on Sunday am and instead of praying and communicating with others have their ears permanently filled by headphones imbibing a constant diet of their handpicked music. They know little of the Christian religion and have little instruction in it.
I see a generation trying to find fulfilment in careers, consumerism, artistic expression, fame and non demanding ‘spirituality.’
Gertrude Stein called the generation who had lost their youth in the First World War a ‘lost generation. ‘ I think it is my generation and this one who are the lost ones.
He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life. 1 John 5.12