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Archive for April, 2006

Glory

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Glory, originally uploaded by emptybelly.

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14

Dawn Chorus…



Dawn Chorus… Originally uploaded by emptybelly.

I hope you have a great day :)

A New Day
Author Unknown

This is the beginning of a new day. I have been given this day to use as I will.

I can waste it, or use it. I can make it a day long to be remembered for its joy, its beauty and its achievements, or it can be filled with pettiness.

What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever, but I shall hold something which I have traded for it.

It may be no more than a memory, but if it is a worthy one I shall not regret the price. I want it to be gain not loss, good not evil, success not failure.

Archbishop of Canterbury Good Friday Message

Archbishop’s Thought for the Day, Radio 4

Good Friday

14th April 2006

A novelist, some years back, put it very well when he described what it was like to arrive in the empty hallway of a monastery in Yorkshire for the first time; ‘There is an impression of intense activity elsewhere’. That’s a phrase that comes to my mind, sometimes, when I’m in a church towards the end of the Good Friday services. We’ve had all the readings, we’ve sung the hymns, we’ve tried to summon up the appropriate emotions for this overwhelming day, the day on which the whole history of the
world depends. And now the services are nearly over, there are no
flowers or decorations, the church has been stripped of everything that might make it look attractive. An empty hail. We’ve run out of things to say and do. Yet it often feels just like the empty hallway of the monastery: intense activity elsewhere.

At the end of a Good Friday service, we get to the point where nothing we do will be or feel adequate to what’s being remembered. And that’s completely right, because what matters on this day is what’s done elsewhere, done by God, somehow using the stark injustice and horror of the execution of Jesus to turn around the way the world works. Intense activity elsewhere; as if you could hear faintly a workman hammering steadily away at the blank surface of human self-satisfaction and self-deception, and an irregular sound of plaster dropping to a distant floor.

And it’s not an intimidating feeling. It’s not that we’ve got an
appointment we mustn’t miss and we don’t know which door to walk through or which staircase togo up. In this empty hallway, there’s nothing expected of us at this moment. The work is out of our hands, and all we can do is wait, breathe, look around. People sometimes feel like this when they’ve been up all night with someone who’s seriously ill or dying, or when they’ve been through a non-stop series of enormously demanding tasks. A sort of peace, but more a sort of ‘limbo’, an in-between moment. For now, nothing more to do; tired, empty, slightly numbed, we rest for a bit, knowing that what matters is now happening somewhere else.

The pity is that so much of the atmosphere in churches these days,
during services and between services, never really gives people that
sense of being able to rest because the work’s being done elsewhere.
Instead it feels, to regular worshippers, let alone anyone dropping in,
busy and anxious, as if the worst thing that could ever happen would be for silence to fall and for people to have to face the fact that they
weren’t in the driving seat any longer. So it becomes more and more
important to get at least one day right, to allow Good Friday to
announce its own particular message, as we strip the church of
decoration and forget the ceremonies and formalities, and end up in a bare hallway, just looking around and settling in quiet for a moment.

It’s a time when we who are Christians might well ask how we can rethink some of what we do the rest of the time to stop what happens in church being just a frantic assertion of ourselves and our religious busyness. Because it isn’t us as Christians, as religious human beings, who are in the lead, heroically making the world a better place. Humanly speaking, our record in this is patchy. It’s good for us to shut up and sit down occasionally. Our task is both very simple and very hard: to create a kind of rest and quiet that begins to tune people’s ears to the impression of intense activity elsewhere. That would be worship worth the name, a space for the heart to grow into.

ENDS

© Rowan Williams 2006

Archbishop of Canterbury – Pause for Thought

Tuesday 11th April 2006

You know how sometimes you seem to be spending quite a bit of your time with people who are ill; the last few weeks have been like that for me, with two very old friends in hospital facing really serious surgery. And as it happens neither of them (they’re both in their eighties)are not at all used to being ill, let alone in hospital. It’s really difficult to let go, to let someone else take over.

But when you’re dealing with surgery, of course you’ve got to. Someone else knows what to do; you’ve just got to depend on them. You don’t really know what the matter is or how to cope with it, and you can’t make yourself better by your own efforts. It’s really not a good idea to try and do brain surgery on yourself.

As I get ready for Good Friday and Easter this year, I’m thinking a lot about these friends and I’m thinking as well how every year at Easter is a tiny bit like what they have to cope with. Good Friday and Easter, remembering the death and coming back to life of Jesus ,this is about what has to happen for the illnesses and cancers of my spirit to be healed. I don’t know for myself exactly what’s wrong but I know something is, in me and outside me. Someone else does a job for me that I can’t completely understand, and I wake up with something having just happened. It’s done by someone else, by the God who wants to heal me, inside and outside. I’ve got to depend on God. And sometimes it’s as difficult as letting go in a hospital ward because we all like to be in control and it’s tough when we can’t be.

So I hope all the people listening in have a wonderful Easter, and remember for just a moment the big event that Christians believe happened at the first Easter a successful bit of surgery, removing the miserable growths of selfishness and anxiety and resentment in us, even if we haven’t yet quite woken up to what it all means.

Oh, and spare a moment, won’t you, if you can, to say a prayer for those who have to face operations and those who find it hard to let go and learn to depend on the skills of others.

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