Some things wont fit into neat compartments.
04 Aug 12
If you listen to BBC Radio you have a choice of five stations. Generally speaking what you listen to depends on your age. Radio 1 is not aimed at my age group and I feel like a stranger looking on at a distance. Radio 4 by contrast feels a little too sober and sombre for my liking. Maybe I'll move over to it when I get a little bit older. For me it's Radio 5Live.
How 5Live have been at the Olympics. I don't mean having a reporter who would broadcast back to the Studio. Every presenter has been at the Olympics. This has had strange, perhaps unintended, consequences. During a news report as a correspondent in Aleppo was being interviewed you could hear contrasting background noises. The interviewer was at the Beach Volleyball, so in the background were the shouts and cheers of spectators. But as we listened to the reporter in Aleppo the sound of gunfire and explosions could be clearly heard. It all seemed in bad taste. Yes, we know in the world there is joy and sadness but can we not keep each clearly in its place?
Or can we? For my job everyone might say that there are clear times for laughter and times for being serious, indeed even sad, and the two never mix. The wedding is full of light hearted joy and laughter. The funeral is inevitably sad. But that's not true. Nothing could be more serious than a wedding. With the exception of a decision about faith, there is no greater decision that a man or woman could make in their whole life. Of course we have our laughter, our applause, our joy. These blend in with but can never override the deep seriousness of the occasion. And funerals. Yes there is deep sadness. There is no point in pretending otherwise. But it is I believe vital to bring into the service light and, where appropriate laughter. Tears and laughs so often come together.
Much as it might feel easier to put our lives into clearly divided compartments, it doesn't work. We might wish, for example, to say that our church life fits into one box, our financial life into another. To bring the two together, we feel, is awkward and embarrassing, for money and faith don't mix. Years ago that almost worked. Churches could rely on the Church Commissioners or local worthies to fund our work. It was not a good pattern for our spiritual well-being and it will no longer work in practice. Following the Flower Festival where the theme was GIVE, we are as a Church will be looking at how we might raise our income so that we can continue to minister in the way God is calling us to work. I will be speaking about this in sermons later this month and in October's newsletter.
For the time being let us thank God that He is Lord over all our lives.
Your friend and Vicar,