Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Good Samaritan

We did a service on the Good Samaritan on Sunday. Miles did the teaching, which was very creative. Anyway it got me thinking. That night I was lying in bed and I realised that, at the moment, our planet is like the man who was mugged on the way from jerusalem to Jericho and lying face down in the road going "help!"

And we are the priest and the levites who are passing by on the other side.

Its hard to know what to do sometimes, as its not a case of just one person helping, or one easy solution. This particular patient will need all of us carrying the stretcher to take them to the inn to get treated. And this means that we cannot live the way we once did, for if we do, other people are going to get hurt. Yet we have to do something for we cannot ignore the fact that what we do tend to do instead is pass by on the other side of the road, pretending that the patient doesn't exist, which will help noone.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I was invited to do some prayer stations (praying for our country) yesterday at a prayer service marking two years since the 7th July bombings in London. It was quite a powerful and moving event, run by Churches Together and One Voice (church leaders network) in York. One of the wonderful things about it was that when the churches tried to book the Guildhall in York ( a kind of civic hall) for the event the council leaders said they would invite us to come in for free and that the civic party would attend. When we arrived we were actually struck by the fact that we were standing in the rebuilt "medieval" ruins of a building that had once been bombed itself (during the blitz) and yet had risen from the ashes to be restored to its former glory.

During the middle section there were 3 sets of prayer stations (praying for the city, the world and the country). I was actually quite inspired by the "praying for the world' section. There was a huge world map (printed on a duvet cover), and a lot of little home-made umbrellas made of cocktail sticks and paper. We were asked to pray for a country, and put a little umbrella on the map of a country we'd prayed for, praying for God's protection and for the people there. Then, a minute or two after I had placed my umbrella on the map, suddenly the sun came out, and the shadow of each umbrella appeared to cover each country. It was a wonderful effect.

And then I remembered the cocktail parasols that appeared in st Cuthberts a couple of years ago that we never knew what to do with. Now all we need is a map, some blue tac and a strong light to cast a shadow....

As Rhianna put it....
"Now that it's raining more than ever Know that we still have each other
You can stand under my Umbrella."