I do not post sermons on here (I could say unless they are wild, cutting edge and amazing- but all of mine are; without exception….. I’ll just pause there whilst I watch feats of porcine aviation...). However, I am going to post something that I wrote for the ‘Village News’ in the place where I live.
The ‘Village News’ is a monthly church/community newsletter. ‘Clergy’ write a thought each time it comes out. I feel that often a lot of these articles are full of ‘insider’ language. I try to be true to the tradition and imagine I’m speaking to someone who might have a vague belief in God but is not sure who he/she/it is.
I have had a lot of reaction; positive- to this article. This has been mainly from people outside church.Â It suprised me that people would even comment ( that is genuine suprise by the way: not just an ‘aw shucks, it was nothing really. I am so humble’ comment).
‘Desert in the Oasis’
It is a tragedy: a once great national institution struggling for inspiration and riven with internal conflicts falling apart amidst great acrimony. I am talking, of course about Noel Gallagher leaving the rock group Oasis.Â Â
In a world where untimely and preventable death happens to over 35,000 people a day it is a very minor thing; although last month it occupied more column inches, air time and bytes on the blogosphere than the deaths of those people.Â Â
If you donâ€™t know the story it involves the long running feud between the Gallagher brothers that finally became insurmountable. One response to it is easy: learn to forgive- as the song goes â€˜All you need is loveâ€™ or as they sang â€˜stand by me: nobody else knows the way itâ€™s going to beâ€™.Â Â
Except it is not easy is it? When I conduct a funeral, I find that most of us have a relationship somewhere that has broken down and now will never be â€˜fixedâ€™. This has usually happened, as the prayer goes â€˜through ignorance, weakness or our own deliberate faultâ€™. Some things just seem hard to forgive.Â Â
Every week I have to lead worship that includes the line. â€˜Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive othersâ€™. Â It invites me to weigh my grievances in the light of Godâ€™s way of dealing generously with me. It then offers me the chance to deal generously and live well with others.Â Â
If Noel and Liam read the Hutton Rudby Â newsletter, I am not sure what they would think of that, but if you would excuse me; I have to retire to a darkened room, light a candle, put on my copy of â€˜Definitely Maybeâ€™ and weepâ€¦