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All Together Now!

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

You know me! I can’t stand cosmetic unity and I am not talking about the foundation that you apply to your face. When it comes to pretending that major differences don’t exist coupled with the avoidence of contentious issues, then I am afraid my time is too precious.

However, when we are agreed on the fundamentals and insularity hinders unity then we do have a problem.  What bothers me in our Presbyterian movement is that some will not worship, plan or work together even with those who share similar values. Not only is there no theological basis for this apartheid system but it is both unbiblical and unhelpful.

So you can imagine the delight of Good Friday at Greenwell Street. The preaching by Steve Cave had been excellent and the presence of God at communion memorable. However, what made it all the more fulfilling was the that more than 300 Presbyterians from our local churches not only gathered together but worshipped, prayed and yes celebrating communion together. This was more than a cosmetic exercise in unity but a deeply moving appreciation of ‘why’ we are united. As the church continues to be marginalised it is important that we make every attempt to show Christian solidarity.  For the world needs to see that Presbyterians, who share an evangelical ethos, have a deeper bond that unites than trivia that separates them.

It might have been possible for Mary to stumble upon the resurrection but we have had 2000 years to recognise him and the same length of time to sort out our petty differences. It is my prayer that next year we may even have to use the gallery.

Oh Dear Rory

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Smiling through the pain

Gutted for Rory and his clear cut chance in the Masters. With a 4 shot lead and only 18 holes left you could have been forgiven for thinking that he was on his way to victory. But the 10th or was it at the 9th (the trauma has made me block the pain) it all went horribly wrong. This proved to be a nightmare in the American sun and Rory dreams plunged into despair. (photo from sportsportal.org). With the pressure on and the confidence shattered it was a long way back. I would have been delighted if he had lifted the trophy, but what impressed me more was his interview afterwards. The maturity demonstrated there went far beyond his age of 21. It must have been the most difficult interview of his life but he manifested a degree of wisdom and philosophical perspective which may have alluded someone much older. In short, he will use the disappointment to encourage reflection, astute preparation and resilience that only an experience like this can bring.

But is there a lesson here for the Christian, I think there might be. We can often sense the prospects of some Christian achievement. The feeling that victory over a certain sin or the recognition of a certain talent lies on the immediate horizon. Only to find that in a matter of minutes our dreams are shattered and a painful reminder of our human sinfulness or personal inadequacy is thrust upon us.

What will our reaction be to such a disappointment. We could cave in, blame the world around us or even become the eternal pessimist. But like Rory, the bible calls us to soberly reflect upon our flaws but never to become a prisoner of our own disappointments. With God’s forgiveness, strength and grace we simply get back up, learn from our experience and fight our next spiritual battles with greater understanding and resolve. 13/04/2011

 

How the Westies Won

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Now when it comes to publicity the West Winds has had its fair share. sorry maybe the phrase ‘fair Share’ was a tad optimistic. At times our publicity is far from fair. But on Daybreak today at 8.17am the West Winds Primary School got the publicity it deserved. West Winds Primary finished first in two categories of the UK Primary Schools Formula One competition. This included the rigorous design and production of a 15cm car that was gas propelled. Racing it and then being quizzed by a panel of judges. They went to London and won the fastest car and marketing and sponsorship categories. The church is delighted because 3 of the team where from our congregation. I think not only should we and the school be proud of the them but the whole province. 14/04/2011