Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

Monday, 14 March 2011

Thou shalt not..... some new commandments?

Recently a friend of mine posted on fb about how language works with children - namely that using negatives doesn't work, because the 'don't' or the 'not' isn't heard.  So for example when your child is hanging from a tree branch you shouldn't scream "Don't fall" because all said child hears is "Fall" - you should couch your advice in positive terms  - so it's "Hang on tight to the branch!".

With this in mind I have twice in the last week faltered as I have read the Ten Commandments as part of the Penitential Rite at the start of our Lenten liturgy. (I should note that the use of this particular material was at the request of lay members of our worship vision group!)  The first bit is OK, but then we get to the "Thou shalt not"s.  Each time I read I picture myself and half of humanity falling out of a tree.  So I began to wonder what some of those thou shalt nots might look like creatively and positively re-framed.  I imagine there are creative liturgists and pastoral practitioners up and down the land who've done this already - but here's my first two - and feel free to comment with some of your own ideas below.

Thou shalt not commit adultery - Live and love in trust and faithfulness

Thou shalt not murder - Honour and cherish human life

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Can we get on with it now??

Decided to blog about the on-going Deanery 'debates' about the legislation to finally get on with consecrating women bishops.  Only briefly - because essentially everything I want to say is stated or implied in that first sentence.  What I mean by this is that I was heartily pleased to hear colleagues admit that while we may never be able to achieve an ideal situation for all sides, we have essentially got as close as we're going to to a workable compromise, and we just need to get on with it now.  Not just get on with introducing the change to legislation and the Code of Practice - but get back to getting on with all the stuff we're really supposed to be getting on with.

So a one clause measure would have been great - but a Code of Practice perhaps gives us an opportunity to act like a church - like people who care about each other, can trust one another, and can show a little bit of the enormity of God's love in the way we treat one another.  I'm getting all management motivational - aren't all challenges just opportunities?  I appreciate that some of the fear on the traditionalist side is coming from the fact that they don't feel that they have been much loved, honored or cared for in recent years - but I genuinely see the Code of Practice as the opportunity to put some of that back - to reconnect with the tolerance and respect which the insistence on legal 'safeguards' has banished.

I ask that we're all able to put the focus back on the loving God we all believe in - bring reconciliation and trust back into the situation - and show a world full of conflict that it is possible to love those who you disagree with.  So the challenge of being church with 'the other side' becomes the opportunity for everyone to be truly Christ-like and see where that exciting possibility takes us??