Sunday, April 24, 2011

Surrexit Dominus Vere - The Lord is risen indeed!

This Taize chant for me is one of such joy that it really encapsulates the sense of Easter morning. Happy Easter one and all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hello God, this is me Lulu

I am so proud to be an Anglican this Easter. First Bishop John suggests our schools should be rediscovering their original foundation aim to be serving the community and now it turns out Archbishop Rowan has taken time to respond to a letter from a six year old in Scotland. You can read the article to discover the context but what made me smile was how much it is not just a standard letter or in an adult style but in one which is trully wonderful:

Dear Lulu,

Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –

‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.

Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.

But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’

And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.

I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lors of love from me too.

+Archbishop Rowan
I think my favourite phrase just has to be:
"Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible." I remember someone once saying that a sign of someone who really knows there stuff isn't that they can describe it in intelligent language and with lots of technical words but that they can explain it in simple terms to someone who knows nothing about it in a way that they can understand. Just goes to show what a great theologian ++Rowan is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What is a church school?

Interesting prominence given to the Bishop of Oxford's comments on admissions to church schools and whether or not (or to what extent) schools should give preference to "Christian" families in the TES and featured on the Today Programme.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rob Bell Wins

Went to hear Rob Bell talk about his new book Love Wins which has been the centre of a lot of controversy from people thinking this means Rob is a universalist (which for many implies that there is no need to live a Christian life). He talked about the image of the city of God in Revelation which has an ever open door (21.25) and it reminded me of the poem about Judas Iscariot which talks of the eventual acceptance of Judas and his own acceptance of the love of God and today again Bishop John preached at the Chrism Mass about the woman who washed Jesus' feet and how we, like Simon the Pharisee, need to learn lessons from those who know themselves to have sinned and know themselves forgiven.

He asked what would our churches be like if each and every one of us willingly allowed ourselves to be changed - that unlike Simon the Pharisee we did not only invite God into our lives but keep our lives the same but like the woman we allowed ourselves to be changed.

The poem concludes like this:

'Twas the Bridegroom stood at the open door,
And beckon'd, smiling sweet;
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Stole in, and fell at his feet.

'The Holy Supper is spread within,
And the many candles shine,
And I have waited long for thee
Before I poured the wine!'

The supper wine is poured at last,
The lights burn bright and fair,
Iscariot washes the Bridegroom's feet,
And dries them with his hair.