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Tea and Theology

Month

January 2017

Candlemas

#551 #candlemas #lightoftheworld
Here we have greeted the Light of the World
Help us, who now extinguish these candles, never to forsake the light of Christ

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Branching and weaving

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#550 How many ways are there to #see the same thing? How many different #opinions can people hold? Does that mean that we can never #agree? Is there such a thing as good #disagreement? Can we ever take those who have such a different opinion from ours with us on the #journey?

How can life go on?

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#549 #howcanlifegoon #hmd2017 For survivors of the holocaust and subsequent genocides this is such a pertinent question… #prayforsurvivors #prayforvictims #darfur

“For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We learned to live with Death. The problem is to adjust to life, to living. You must teach us about living.” Elie Wiesel

Holy Smoke…

#548 “Let my prayer rise before you as #incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
O Lord, I call to you; come to me quickly; hear my voice when I cry to you. Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips;
Let my prayer rise before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Let not my heart incline to any evil thing; let me not be occupied in wickedness with evildoers.
But my eyes are turned to you Lord God; in you I take refuge; do not leave me defenceless.
Let my prayer rise before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” #psalm141:1-8
Whatever #preoccupies our hearts this evening, take a moments #refuge in the Lord…

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An empty disposable coffee cup

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#547 “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.” #2corinthians4v7 This evening the clay jars were likened to a disposable coffee cup, with the reassurance that it’s alright for the cup to be empty as God fills it up!  What’s inside is our treasure from God – how beautiful is that! We also had the pleasure of Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley presiding at our community Eucharist – such a blessing!

Person of peace

#546 I have been thinking about facilitation and leading discussion in a way which keeps people safe, and helps them to see that there views are important even when they contradict the general mood in the group. In practice, as a teacher, I am prone to congratulate those points which are well made. I had not realised that this can be taken as my affirmation of the person and the opinion they represent…humans are so keen for affirmation that they are often quick to also give it. How do we free ourselves from this need. Is it enough to just thank people for their contributions and move on, or does this seem churlish or uncaring? How can we be people of peace with real integrity?

Perspective

#545 #perspective #seethingsdifferently #redeeminglove 

Journey and destination 

#544 As it is still #epiphanytide I was thinking about the #threekings and what it would have felt for them to have journeyed so far, and for so long to finally arrive…only to turn back! Whilst the main focus may well be in the destination, I wonder what they learned along the way, about themselves and one another?

One-Way Traffic

#543
An “All traffic” sign points ahead to the only possible direction in the middle of the day in a busy unknown city on a one-way route. The Sat Nav clearly states otherwise with a sharp, repetitive “Make a u-turn where possible.” Neither was this the intended route. How did I end up here, and how do I make my way through? This is the third time I have seen this stretch!

There are times when the one-way street just is not where you want, or need to be. Slowly following all the other cars, as they impatiently try to weave through the traffic and get a little further ahead. As I lean towards frustration, I wonder whether this is perhaps all they can do to break the mould, to exert their individuality. Or does a sense of importance  urge them forward?

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to our own way….” Well, if only we could turn our own way! Claustrophobia sets in as I realise there is no getting out! I’m stuck in this one way traffic with all of these other cars, blindly following, unable to question…no-one to ask. A desperate plea begins to lurch from deep within – a loud, shrill scream escapes.

My heart is in my head, beating loud and fast. “Make a u-turn where possible” has become my theme tune, repeated over and over in my head as everything becomes black. An unceasing horn beeps from somewhere around me, but I am powerless to act. Overwhelmed by this one way traffic, which is not my way, I try to abort or eject, to go a different way.

Yet this is the one thing which the system will not allow. Health and safety, law and order and “It’s always been like this” offer justifications for this one-way traffic, but each excuse seems steeped in bureaucracy, unable to hear criticism or alternative suggestions. And so we remain stuck in this crazy one-way system, which fails for so many navigators – how could this be my way?!

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