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Tea and Theology

Month

February 2017

Shrove Tuesday

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#581 #shrovetuesday #temptationinthedesert #40daysoffasting #stockuponpancakes #givesomethingup #takesomethingon #closertoGod

Yoga

#580 For the first time in a little over a year I dusted off my #yogamat and went back to the beginning. It was a real treat to #rediscover #relaxation in this way.

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What do you see?

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#579 When looking at the same person, place or possession different people notice #different things – that rich #diversity is a great strength. None of us are the same, so we are all likely to see something slightly differently depending on how our own #experiences have shaped us. Does this make some of us #right and some of us #wrong? Does this mean that the views and experiences of some are less important than others?

Mind the gap

#578 We are sometimes so quick to focus on the #gaps in our relationships and knowledge, allowing our differences to #divide us, but what if we focused on what #unites us? Would we manage to reduce those gaps which can seem impossible to conquer? 

Reminders

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#577 #symbols and #reminders are all around us as things we surround ourselves with. We may even disclose aspects of our identity through them. I’ve worn a cross in the past to remind me to think before I speak, to avoid reacting. This particular #celticcross has a circle around the intersection to symbolise the eternal love of God. The vertical stem serves as a reminder to look up to #heaven for #wisdom, whilst the horizontal arms are about finding #balance and taking care in those daily interactions. It also serves as a reminder of Jesus’ death on the cross. Do these reminders really help to shape our #behaviours in the moment? Should we be seeking to control our reactions, or should we allow greater #authenticity? would people get hurt if we were more reactionary?

Doris had her day!

#576 As the storm calms, and an examination of the catastrophe caused begins, I was struck by a divine light…what it illuminates I am not sure. We are so often quick to allow our deeply held convictions to inform what we think and say and do, and equally quick to draw conclusions and pick sides of debates and arguments. How often do we just sit and look at the light, pondering where it is pointing? I have constantly been surprised by what I have seen and uncovered when I have dwelt outside the darkness. It can be difficult to break away from but it is so worthwhile. How can any of us claim to know the vastness of our God when we limit God or draw a box around what is and is not acceptable to God? The controversy around the consecration of +Phillip North as Bishop of Sheffield in the Guardian seeks to call an example of a limiting of God to a God who would not call women to operate as priests. As this storm calms where will that divine light shine? What will be illuminated by it?

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Sacraments

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#575 I’m writing about the #eucharist as a #sacrament at the moment and have been struck by how far away from #Jewishfellowshipmeals this has come. What is so special about a eucharist service? What do we do in them that is about us rather than God? Is every eucharist a #divineencounter? We had an #americana themed eucharist this week, which completely transformed the shape of the service, and went some way to finding the balance between the formal and the informal, the sacred and the secular, God and humanity. #trulyspecial

Here and now

#574 I’ve struggled to #liveinthemoment for the past few days, with various reminders that my time at theological college is #finite, and the end point is in sight. Each of us for whom this is the case are responding to this reality in different ways. I am very aware of the pain of losing those who I had grown so close to last year, and want to #cherish each moment I have here before leaving all of those who I have grown close to. I have struggled to focus on my current essay, or the person who I am having a conversation with now, as I feel my head is being turned and my attention taken. Indeed there is much to think about surrounding the changes which will occur over the next few months such as clergy shirts and robes to order, housing to finalise, final reports to write and consult over as well as a consideration of how to make all that I have learned and thought about at college count in my future ministry. These things have been swimming around my head and keeping me awake well into the wee small hours of late, but it seems pointless to worry about these things – easier said than done! How difficult it is to focus on today, to live in the here and now, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bring its benefits though. What is on your heart to think about or do today? #seizethemoment

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Silencing 

#573 Have you ever been #silenced? By who? In what situation? Have you ever silenced anyone? What were your reasons? Should any of us have power to silence anyone?

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