Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
Radio Scotland
Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Good morning,

A burnt out car in the middle of the street.

A family home reduced to ashes.

Like the visual images of lives cut short in ancient Pompeii by an erupting volcano these pictures from Southern Australia tell the stories of lives which have been overwhelmed by something faceless and destructive.

What can you say?

The words “Such Things Happen" come to mind. Bit brutal that, though, no?

In other generations such things happened much more. Those listening to this broadcast this morning are members of a society where such things happen less than they did once upon a time.

We can do much to prevent disasters. We have the technical knowledge to deal with the aftermath effectively. We might say that such things ‘shouldn’t happen’

But events do knock a few holes in our certainty and perhaps they should.

Our lives are of a particular duration. It’s up to us whether we can treat this as either tragedy or opportunity. Like an artist with a canvas of a particular size we will lay down our colours within a confined space. There, love will be given and received – or not. There, challenges will be met and promises kept – or not. Faith kindled and exercised boldly in difficult circumstances – or not.

The old Book of Common Prayer put it this way in one prayer to God:
Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life.
The reflection that these lives of ours are not without earthly limits has always been seen as a healthy and sober reflection – not in the least morbid or obsessive. Precisely because we do not the choose the day of our departure we have the motivation to live with courage and boldness. 

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Edinburgh Wedding Show

The Scottish Episcopal Church had a stall at the Edinburgh Wedding Show which was on out at Ingleston over the weekend. I got in trouble with my wife and one of her friends a week or so back for referring to it as the Marriage Trade Fair. Not completely inappropriate given the sorts of exhibits you could find there but the term lacks a little bit of romance.

It was a good day, all in all.

The folks involved in the Glasgow Wedding Show last year had enjoyed a marvelous time and so our expectations were understandably quite high.

I was a long day spent on our feet. Ruth Innes (Dio Edinburgh) and Jeremy Auld (Dio St Andrew's) and I were there for the better part of the day. Lorna Finlay the Communications Director for the SEC was there to help set up the stall and get us launched.

We managed to get some folks thinking about the "church component" in their wedding who had, to this point, only really given any thought to their venues and wedding fluff. We manged to link up some people to their local clergyperson.

The incredulity that some visitors expressed about the presence of the Scottish Episcopal Church at the Wedding Show was that 'good' sort of incredulity - more along the lines of 'It's good to see the Church here'.

Oh - and I did try a tiara on. It's wasn't particularly fetching and it won't happen again. I promise, Bishop!

update: Lorna Finlay has just been in touch to say that the results of the survey which Ruth Innes was taking during the day of passers-by indicate that everybody's favourite wedding hymn is


"Love Divine"