Having a radio alarm is a marvellous invention. In principle you awake, soothed by funky tunes or challenged by interesting talk. Unfortunately my radio is tuned to Radio 4's Today program. This means I am either soothed by good things or rudely awakened by politicians I find I have a strong response to!
Today's interview of note was with a barrister from the Christian Legal Centre and centred around the reality behind his claim that Christians are persecuted in the uk. Fascinating listening avaliable here.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Tonight I wandered to my local church to participate in it's ashing service. This ceremony, by which burnt remains of palm crosses are daubed on peoples foreheads, is one of the more ritualistic elements of the liturgical year and focuses our minds on our ultimate death with a reminder that we will all return to dust.... As I sat and heard bible readings, about pride and burnt offerings, I was reminded about the importance of the service and ritual. My faith, like that of Angela Shire-Jones, is one founded on an exploration and promotion of god's unending love for all. However, unlike her reflection on the day, I view Ash Wednesday as pivotal to the life-affirming, life enhancing gospel we both seek to share. The liberating message of God's love for all was clearly demonstrated through the life of Jesus. People who society rejected were engaged with, those who society upheld were challenged. The social whirlwind of Jesus made clear god's love is for all, but his message will challenge us all. What link does this have with Ash Wednesday? Well, consider what is daubed on the forehead. An ash cross made from last-year's palm cross. Why does this matter? Because the palm crosses used to remind us of Jesus crucifixion are the very same as the ones used to welcome him as king on Palm Sunday. For me, ash Wednesday is a chance for corporate penitence over the fickleness of humanity. One needs only to look in a newspaper to see a man once hailed as king now international pariah. Sound familure? I want to be ashed. I want to be reminded. I want to face my own mortality. I want to do this because I dedicate every waking breath to building god's kingdom of justice, peace and equality. I do this knowing the whole experience is a journey through which all can know God better. However, all journeys have mistakes. Humanities heralding of jesus as saviour one week, before turning him in as a criminal the next, is the ultimate reminder. no matter how holy we may try to be, we'll all make dreadful mistakes. Mistakes that are only rectified when we take the first step and say sorry.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
This two songs were inspired by news that the British Humanist Association had to alter wording on their adverts due to a meeting of an 'Advisory board'.
For the full story see this story from the BBC.