#BishopLibby

I woke up this morning to the live BBC Radio 5 coverage of the consecration of #BishopLibbyLane, the very first female to be made a bishop in the Church of England. I had several observations and reflections. Firstly, it was wonderful to listen live to history being made. Secondly, it was thoroughly encouraging to listen to the response of Archbishop John Sentamu to the opposing voice that was raised in the middle of the service, and also to hear the consequent affirmation of the gathered congregation being pronounced with gusto. Thirdly, the whole thing reminded me, very vividly, of my own ordination:

“In his name you are

to preach by word and deed the gospel of God’s grace;
to declare God’s forgiveness of sins to all who are penitent;
to baptize, to confirm
and to preside at the celebration of the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood;
to lead God’s people in worship, prayer and service;
to minister Christ’s love and compassion;
to serve others, in whom you serve the Lord himself.

These things are your…duty and delight…

In all things, give counsel and encouragement to those whom Christ entrusts to your care.
Pray without ceasing.
Work with joy in the Lord’s service.
Let no-one suffer hurt through your neglect.

This ministry will make great demands on you and upon those close to you, yet in all this, the Holy Spirit will sustain you by his grace.”

Wow!

It is easy to let those words simply be spoken in a service and then to forget them as the days and months wear on. That is not to say I stop doing the things I have been ordained to do. Rather, it is simply to say that sometimes it is easy to forget the significance of these things being, and the resulting significance for every subsequent action and word.

This morning I am thankful for my ordination and for hands that were laid on me in that moment. I am thankful for the affirmation I heard that night, and I am thankful for the vocation that I continue to live out each day.

It is good to be called. My prayer and resolution today is to walk faithfully in that call.

#dailyresolutions #call #purpose #grace

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#Paris: There is more…

The 24hr news cycle is a wonderful thing – we are more informed than ever before.  But it can also be deceptive. It can lead individuals to a place of despair in that they see bad news cycle after bad news cycle and conclude that the world is rotten.

No doubt, the world can be rotten.  But we do well to remember that there is more…

There is more freedom than there is fear.

There is more wisdom that stupidity.

There are more peaceful people than there are perpetrators of pandemonium.

There is more love than there is hate.

There is more giving than taking. 

There is more good action than there is bad action.

There is more good news than there is bad.

The sum total of the good and great little acts of kindness, love and mercy in the world are far more than the sum total of the atrocious and horrendous acts of violence and hatred that we seem to be witness to more often.

The ripples of those kind, loving and merciful acts are more, and they travel wider and longer and deeper than the ripples of the atrocious and horrendous acts of violence.

There is more untold kindness and generosity of spirit than there is unkindness and selfish ambition.

There is more humility than there is arrogance.

There is more good than bad.

We just don’t hear that very often.

Please do not read this as the words of one who is naive and blind to what is really happening in the world.  The truth be stated – what we witness on news cycles is horrific, and I do not want to underplay the pain, loss and wider ramifications of violent acts such as what has been played out in Paris in recent days.  However, I do very much want to hold on to the notion that in humanity there is more goodness than evil and there is more love than there is hatred.

I guess I just needed somewhere to say that.