Hearing the call to freedom

We were having a morning coffee in our living room when a Great Tit flew in through the open window. It was a young bird, rather unskilled in aerial navigation. In its panic to escape the terrifying humans, it eventually found a safe perch on a curtain rail.
We didn’t want to alarm it further, so making sure all the windows were wide open, we moved out to the garden. We hoped it would find its way out. Some time later I crept back in. The bird seemed to have gone. It hadn’t. It had moved to another curtain pole. My entry caused frantic flying. It flew hard against the unopenable part of a window and fell to the floor stunned. Was it dead? Eventually the young Great Tit rose to its feet, but stayed there, occasionally lifting a wing. Was it injured? Could it still fly? Yes, it could. When I moved the sofa to give it more space, it flew up to the windowsill, where it remained motionless.
I went outside to continue to watch it. Was it scared to move? Was it waiting, as young birds do, for …

Ascension Day 2020

Today is Ascension Day, a Christian celebration of Christ's ascension into heaven. Ascension is a mystery. In one sense Christ leaves this world. He is also given to us. Not confined to 1 place, Christ is in heaven at the heart of all things, accessible to all who seek him. Christ took our humanity into heaven. In the Ascension, Christ’s glory is both revealed and concealed. 

In a world where weapons, wealth, winning elections or controlling the media means power, it’s not surprising many see as ridiculous the Christian claim that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords. We Christians claim that the most powerful are as nothing compared to the cosmic King Jesus.

To celebrate Jesus’ Ascension is a daring act of faith. It’s audacious to claim that the son of a young Jewish girl, born more than 2,000 years ago and executed on a cross, is alive and now reigns over all. We’re not simply saying Jesus’ teaching influences us. We’re saying Jesus is both human and divine, seated in the plac…

Alone but not abandoned

During the Covid-19 pandemic many are isolated. Some are not alone but feel alone. We've become more aware of our human interdependence. We need each other and need the reassurance that there is always someone who can be alongside to help.

The fear of being abandoned lies deep in us all. Jesus saw that fear in his friends as they struggled with the idea that Jesus was leaving them. The gospel reading for today the 6th Sunday of Easter, John 14: 15 - 21, takes us back to the night before Jesus died. The disciples’ world was falling apart. What started as a celebration meal became something disturbing. Judas had gone to betray Jesus. Jesus had warned Peter he would deny him. Jesus kept speaking of death and departing. Into that fearful atmosphere Jesus promised, “I will not leave you orphaned” and then promised, “I will come to you”. They wouldn’t be alone.

I once saw a documentary showing a bear with 2 new-born cubs. One cub died soon after birth. 3 weeks later the mother died. The r…