Minister's letter

A message for September

 

from Des Colechin
 

 

 

 

When I sat down and started to think about my message to you all at this time my mind went back to a Quiet Day we had at the start of this year’s Lenten Season.  My mind then took me back to my working days when appraisal was a part of our on-going life.  I saw the appraisal as ‘Taking Stock’ of where I was going and where I had been in the previous year.  When I sit here at my desk putting pen to paper to send you this message those words ‘Taking Stock” really set me thinking.

 

Firstly, I turned to a book published this year by Margaret Silf entitled ‘Soul Journey’.  In it she writes and quotes from the Bible, using words in the book of Micah, chapter 6 verse 8:

‘You have already been told what is good and what the Lord seeks from you.  Only this, to do what is right, to love loyalty and to walk humbly with your God.’

 

 

 

 

 

You might like to just reflect on those words before reading on.  Just sit with them and let them soak into your mind and heart and notice anything that strikes you, especially anything that resonates with your actual lived experience.  Micah suggests three simple hallmarks of an authentic journey to the best we can become:    RIGHT ACTION, LOVE and HUMILITY.

 

In his earthly ministry Jesus was very emphatic about the importance of RIGHT ACTION and much less concerned about RIGHT BELIEF.  It’s rather ironic that much traditional religious practice reverses this emphasis so that the demand of orthodoxy can become dominant.

 


Jesus describes himself as ‘the way’.  He invites us to follow him if we want to know the way.  First, we ‘follow him’ through his earthly ministry, learning from him ‘on the job’ as he shows us what it looks like in a human life, to respond to the demands of justice and love.  And then he invites us to ‘follow him’ through a dark valley, where we discover the cost of living true to the best we can be.  As we reflect on these past few months we have travelled through a difficult time but how many blessings have been received in that time in so many, many ways.  To be able to STOP, LISTEN, and re-assess our lives, has been a phrase said by many in conversations in these past months.

 

Jesus urges us not to be afraid when we face opposition and trials that true life will lead us into, but to travel through the dark valley and light will reveal itself.  Stay with me he urges, I am walking every step with you.  Life itself is a journey, sometimes hard, with stony stretches, but it leads to the fullness of a life beyond our comprehension.  Jesus’ repeated invitation is disarmingly simple - follow me - and this means quite simply our learning to walk with him at our side.

 

Some time ago I was sent a poem which I feel helps us to ‘Take Stock’ of the journey at this time.  It speaks to me of both the human and spiritual sides of our lives and certainly sums up where we find ourselves at this time.
 

 

 

I

And the people stayed home

 

And people stayed home

and read books and listened

and rested and exercised

and made art and played

and learned new ways of being

and stopped

and listened deeper

someone meditated

someone prayed

someone danced

someone met their shadow

and people began to think differently

and people healed

and in the absence of people who live in ignorant ways,

dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

even the earth began to heal

and when the danger ended

and people found each other

grieved for the dead people

and they made new choices

and dreamed of new visions

and created new ways of life

and healed the earth completely

just as they were healed themselves.

 

C O’Meara

 

 

 

I then turned to Psalm 139 which I have found such a comfort over many years. 

 

I hope these thoughts help you to ‘Take Stock’ of life at this time as we all travel with our triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that we will all stop, look and listen.  May the seasons of life be a true blessing.

 

 

 

 
 

God bless you all,

Des.

 

Licensed Lay Minister

Fromeside Benefice