Having recently walked 200 miles of the Camino De Santiago – an ancient pilgrimage route through northern Spain – I have a new perspective on perseverance!
I recently heard Pachelbel’s Canon in D – do you know it? It is played by three violins and one cello (versions available on YouTube). Like much music, it sounds like it fits together perfectly with no difficulty.
From the envious comments elicited by holiday photos on Facebook at this time of year, you’d think that making time to relax and recharge was one of our top priorities.
What makes a good leader? History is littered with the examples of leaders who may have been strong and successful but at the cost of freedom. Many have been tyrants and despots, using their authority to oppress their people and promote violence, inequality and prejudice.
This is the familiar encounter between Jesus and the rich, young man. The young man wants to know what to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus firstly quotes from the scriptures; commandments the man already knows.
This, for me, is the line at the heart of this story – ‘When the Lord saw her he had compassion for her and said to her do not weep’. Jesus goes on to raise the man to life. The healing is the result not of the woman’s faith but because of Jesus’ compassion.
It’s easy, perhaps especially for Protestants, to escape into our heads in worship and to forget to embody our prayer. And yet the whole story of our faith is about a God who became flesh and lived among us. Perhaps it would be good to get our bodies more involved in our prayer.
'How lovely is your dwelling-place, O Lord Almighty… I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the my God'
These words from the Book of Joshua have great resonance with me just now. I am about to leave my present job as University Chaplain at Bath, a post I have held for the last 12 years, and head off to pastures new – both literal and metaphorical! - as Rector of the Quantock Towers Benefice.