Friday, September 07, 2007

Sweet Victory!

One of my two congregations organized a Sunday School outing during the month of August at a "Family Fun Park" in East Lothian. It wasn't easy - pretending to enjoy myself in the presence of a whole lot of small children and coming down to their level.

It's what Jesus would have done, though.

This is a picture of me pretending to have fun. As you can see I managed reasonably well.

One of the children was trying to go faster than me in his Go-Kart. Duh - I don't think so! You've got to nip this sort of thing in the bud if you're going to maintain order in a congregation.

The reason I get to wear the colourful togs and stand at the front of the Church and talk all the time is because I can drive the Go-Kart faster than you can. No way! Eat my dust, kid!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Rabbit Repents!

I'll admit it - I was prepared to mock. Gently, of course, because the good father is doing a worthy thing - he has plenty of other little videos on the vestments of the Mass and other bits and pieces (which I think a few of my own flock have asked me to write something about and have I done it? I have not!) The ipadre format was a little forced. I suppose that's what I initially intended to poke a little fun at. Jeez, I'm making myself feel bad just writing this. What a shit I am! I hold the internet responsible. It's Madpriest's fault - maybe the fault of the Ship of Fools. It's that Dave Walker!'s my own fault.

Well sir, then I happened upon the interview with the four young women entering their postulancy with the Capuchin Sisters. All of a sudden it hit me that they were more or less the same age we were - back in Montreal at the end of the seventies and in the early eighties - a year or two before the trickle of young people into ministry dried up completely - ever to be replaced by a group of people uniquely made up of second vocations firmly rooted in middle age. I found my heart strangely warmed by the thought that somewhere in the hills of the United States there are young people considering turning the whole of their adult life over to the service of Jesus.

I want my youth group to see this. But in the mean time, in dust and ashes......I repent.

You gotta love the Irish!
(they know how to take you down a peg or two if you ask them nicely)

As reported by Madpriest

At a U2 concert in Ireland, Bono asks the audience for some quiet.

Then he starts to slowly clap his hands.

Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone.....

"I want you to think about something. Every time I clap my hands, a child dies in Africa."

A voice from the back of the audience yells out........

"Then fookin stop clapping yer hands, ya arsehole!"

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Clio puts her foot in it

I gave up on a writing project today which wasn't going overly well. I decided to take advantage of the reasonable weather and take the best of all Labrador Retrievers for a walk along the mighty North Esk which runs down the hill from the Rectory. There's one spot where the river flows in a slow and determined manner in a stream 20 feet across and a foot and a half deep.

As I sat there on the rock watching the river I found that I was looking at about four things all at once. There was, first of all, the reflection in the water of what was behind and above me - the patch of blue sky amid the clouds and the canopy of Beech and Red Pine. Then there were the little clumps of white bubbles on the surface of the stream flowing steadily by my feet at the pace of a brisk walk. Around them on the surface of the water were little eddies, the mild boiling-up of water forced up over rocks beneath the surface and small whirlpools a half inch deep. Within the water - the odd bit of detritus - a leaf or two - being carried downstream. These never travel evenly - they are subject to invisible currents. Their movement is hesitant. They tumble. They wiggle about in fits and starts.

Pushing 50 as I am now, the North Esk has only one message. Things move downhill., heading off to their end and destination. The arthritis in the spine, the word forgotten for a moment, the impatience with things said by younger people purporting to be novel but which are just recycled rubbish from other days. Yeah, I guess I'm 49 alright!

And so rivers have the same message as waves hitting the sand. The regularity of the beat, the inexorable course of the path - waves beating things down - rivers carrying things away. I weave together something in my head which I'll preach about another day - a sermon about releasing things, a sermon about the experience of change and decay, a sermon about submission to time and transformation.

At this point Clio decided she needed a drink and so padded past me into the water. She waded out and drank a few mouthfuls, muddied the bottom, walked up stream. Then she climbed out. As she passed me her sodden tail smacked my trouser leg and soaked it. Helpfully, she shook the water out of her coat right beside my ear and I found myself pushing her away crossly. She hadn't a clue how she'd offended and looked hard-done-by.

My sombre reflection on death, decay and entropy was now lost. The mood had gone. There'd been too much volition here - too much tramping upstream - too much impatience with sameness and uniformity - an unwillingness to leave things as they must be.

Bloody dog! I'll have to start again.