Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Advent Hope

Every tear wiped away;
no more pain or suffering;
all oppression and injustice atoned;
death swallowed up in victory;
resurrection to gladness and everlasting joy.

Is this a fantasy
or the true promise of the living,
loving God?
Each glorious glimpse tugs and tantalises,
stirring a heart longing that will not be stilled.

Faith says, ‘My God is real and to be trusted,’
and Hope is birthed within me.

Hope that dances with wondering delight
as a hint of what’s to come invades my soul with joy.

Hope that soars with its wings spread wide
rising on the thermal of the Holy Spirit’s breath.

Hope that shines with radiant love light
in the face of encroaching darkness and fear-filled hate.

Hope that stands with holy defiance
as the horrors of greed and malice foster despair.

Hope that groans with desperate longing
crying, ‘Enough is enough. O come, Lord Jesus, come.’

Do not turn numb, O Hope.
Quicken with life and joyful anticipation.
Be steadfast in my soul.
Anchor me to the one who is the source
of Hope.
The one who came, who died, who rose
and who will surely come again.

Then I will work and watch and wait,
and I will say,
‘Be strong and do not fear -
Our God is coming soon.’

Advent Sunday 2014
reflecting on Isaiah 35:1-10

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Ash Wednesday - Dust

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

From dust we came - you and I - from dust.
Dry, formless dust,
   at the mercy of every whisper of wind.

Not of our choice did we take form,
   not from desire
   or power
   or cleverness
   or invention,
but by the hands of the one
   who loves
   and shapes
   and forms
and holds the whole world in his hands.

His hands took the dust and moulded it
   with loving care,
   with creative excitement,
joyfully giving his breath to give us life.

But we are dust,
   so easily forgetful of the giver and the gift;
   restlessly seeking to fulfil ourselves every which way but in him;
   capable of such destructiveness,
   inflicting pain  on others and ourselves.

   we turn away - you and I -
   from the one who is the sources of love and life for us,
   and live our lives in dusty darkness.

But he does not forget the frailty of our dustiness,
   and his loving mercies never come to an end.
He goes on calling us out of dusty darkness,
   to live in the glorious light and hope of Christ.

So we,
   remembering that God is God and we are not,
   remembering what He can do with dust and we cannot,
remember today that we are dust,
   and choose to turn our faces to the light,
   with the hope of resurrection in our hearts.

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.

Rachel Wigram
for Ash Wednesday 2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Blessing 3 for 2014

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and forever. Amen.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Blessing 2 for 2014

This was John's favourite 'party trick' with each of our children when they were little. They loved doing it and evidently felt completely safe. I always think it is a wonderful image of trust - trust that is vital to a secure sense of balance and the freedom to live life to the full.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Blessing 1 for 2014

This photograph was taken during our summer holiday in Northumbria last year. Whilst I was ill, I often imagined myself walking across to Lindisfarne following the posts of the Pilgrim's Path. It was such a joy finally to be able to do it with bare feet revelling in the feeling of the sand and mud between my toes. With the sky reflected in the water lying across the sands, the sense of spaciousness was awesome, even bewildering. No chance of getting lost, though, with the clear line of posts to guide us.