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August - September 2014

posted 10 Nov 2014, 12:34 by St. Thomas' Church Aboyne   [ updated 10 Nov 2014, 12:34 ]

At the moment our churches are dressed in green. We are in 'Ordinary Time', the time after Trinity season. It's a time in the church year which is not particularly marked by special feasts and festivals. A time of long summer days, picnics, gatherings, and games. Fun and laughter. Often we seem to lose a bit of focus at this time of year. The church calendar seems to turn its endless wheel, and without any highlights, it can be difficult to get excited.

I like the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. He has a wonderful way with words. In one of his books, Feet of Clay, a creature called a golem says ‘either all days are holy days or no days are holy days’. For me, when I think of my faith and my God, I think the same thing – either all time is ordinary or no time is ordinary. All time is holy or no time is holy. ‘Ordinary time’ reminds me to seek God not amongst glitz and pomp, but amongst the ordinary. Among the things of creation, among the people of this world. We should be looking for God within creation, recognising that God reveals himself through creation and treating all things as holy. All too often we think of God as separate. God is in the very air which I breathe. He is in the wood of the desk on which I rest my notepad. The rings of ageing look rather like part of a giant finger- print as I trace it with my eyes. Outside I can hear the rushing of the wind as it moves through the trees. I can feel the warmth of the sun upon my back. I can smell polish and perfume and newly mown grass. I can revel in the sudden downpour, go outside and stand in the rain, delighting in God as he touches me. God speaks to me as clearly through himself in creation as he does in the Bible or in prayer.

As humans we are unique, created beings. As Christians, we are called to a community of faith, but communities are made up of difference. Life would be extremely tedious if we were all the same! We are called to be the body of Christ and we are called to be parts of that body. In a body, all parts are important. While we cannot fulfil every function as individuals, in community we can. A big toe is important for balance. If you play an instrument, you will know that your little finger is extremely important. A belly button reminds us that we were born into relationship – and I won’t debate here if Adam and Eve had one or not!

God has a set, assigned task for each of us, unique to us. One of the mistakes we make is to overestimate what God wants us to do – and underestimate what God can do. We expect him to demand large things of us, and we are therefore afraid to listen. God needs those who are willing to sit and listen to the birds as well as those who can sing like birds. We all have our own individual callings from God. It is up to us whether we choose to respond to them. That is our own choice, made out of free will. But if we do not respond, then we are choosing to deprive the body of Christ of our call. And while other parts may be able to do some of it, there will always be an element absent. The other parts will become strained and tired, stretched beyond their calling. And that strain and stretch is our individual and corporate responsibility. Love of God is manifested in love of others.

Enjoy the summer months, the holy within the ordinary. Use the time to dance with God in the rain, to bask in the sunshine, to listen to God's creation, and to focus on his call on your life.

With every blessing,