Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's my Birthday

To celebrate 51 years on the earth we're going to the Peebles Book Fair and then to the Edinburgh Zoo.

Sermon was done and dusted last night so the day is pretty well free.

I don't know how I got to be 51 years old though. It's all been a bit of a shock. I was 35 years old, like, yesterday.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Why you should go on a retreat
by Rabbi Lionel Blue

I wish I'd found THIS (in the archives of Radio 4's Thought for the Day) earlier.

It's very good.

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
Radio Scotland
Monday, March 8th, 2009
Like the proverbial ‘bad penny’ one of the unwelcome things that comes back is more violence in familiar quarters - trouble at one of the historic ‘fault lines’ of humanity.

News of a terror attack at the front gates of an army Barracks in Antrim brings us back to scenes which belong properly to another decade.

We end up feeling a little sick. We’d hoped to have moved on.

There were 28 people killed in Baghdad the other day: Yet another fault line.

We are not so daft as to assume that the inclination to violence only resides in the souls and minds of people somewhere else. Crime stories on the Scottish News are frequent. It’s one of those things which happens, we say to ourselves……although with greater frequency in certain neighbourhoods.

We’re in a penitential season right now in the Church. In Lent, one of the things we do is to take stock – not of our achievements but of the things that are amiss in our lives and in our inclinations. It’s a time to cultivate some wisdom and realism about the weakness in our bodies and souls. Any inventory of our humanity will lead us, sadly, to conclude that we share an inclination to violence and cruelty.

Men and women who have struggled with drink or with anger or some other problem come to know that while they can learn to live with it, around it or in spite of it – they will nonetheless have to live in its shadow. We can be grateful for the forward strides that have been made in Northern Ireland – grateful for the immense courage shown by notable men and women as well as those whose names will never be known who have either brokered peace or agreed to it.

At the same time we will, please, put aside the foolish whim that we are somehow immune. Peace requires an active commitment to what does not always come naturally. Our ability to live in peace with people who are not of our clan, our language or our persuasion is always under threat. 

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Winter's last kick at the cat

Lots of snow on the ground this morning. Driving to West Linton was like driving across the Canadian prairies in a blizzard. It melted in one fell swoop during the afternoon and now it's snowing again quite hard so we'll see what tomorrow looks like.

It's actually been great having a proper Winter this year.