Showing posts from April, 2015

St George's Day

I have never been able to get excited about St George's Day, which is today. It's not even a national holiday in England, as it is in some other places that have him as their patron saint. 

If we have to have a patron saint in England I would prefer it to be a saint who was either English or at least lived once in England, like St Aidan for example. Yes, I know Aidan was really Irish and once lived  in Scotland, but he did live for a substantial time in Northumberland, England. And he was peace loving, which I would really like England to be. Yes, Aidan gets my vote for a national saint, rather than George. Aidan did a lot for England. George did nothing.

It was during the Reformation period in England that in 1552 all saints' banners were abolished, except that of St George the Martyr. From my garden today I can see the St George flag flying from the top of the parish church tower. With its white background and red cross it looks good against a blue sky, but I still find s…

Thomas: who voiced what others dared not ask

"Unless I put my finger in the mark of the nails..." So said Thomas.

I have always warmed to Thomas the apostle. I like the way he asked questions and wanted to discover things for himself rather than rely on 2nd hand evidence, even from trusted people in his own group. Any new movement or ancient institution needs people who have the courage to ask honest questions, even when that disturbs accepted truth. Sometimes such people voice the questions that others also have but dare not voice.

In Malcolm Guite's sonnet St Thomas the Apostle he describes he describes Thomas as:

"Courageous master of the awkward question,you spoke the words that others dare not sayand cut through their evasion and abstraction."

You can read the text or listen to Malcolm's reading of the whole sonnet here.

Today's Gospel reading is John 20: 19 – 31. It begins with the risen Jesus meeting his disciples in an upper room, breathing the Holy Spirit on them and commissioning them for mis…

Easter Sunday 2015

Here is one of the gospel accounts about the first witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus:

"Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for…

Wordless Good Friday Meditation

If you have a few quiet minutes this Good Friday, the video below has no words, only peaceful music and beautiful images that focus on the symbol of the cross.

Have a 'good' Good Friday that brings you what you need today.

Previous Good Friday posts: Good FridayGood Friday: Mother and Child MeditationMeditative Music for Good FridayGood FridayGiving and Good FridayCry for HelpLooking for Hope
Image Credit: Pixabay

Jesus' agony in the garden

In the Garden of Gethsemane"They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray". He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake."

And going a little further, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible, remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want."

He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 

And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.

And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him…