Saturday, 6 March 2010

We need help to stop us from sinking

Thinking about trust at the moment. For various reasons I am really struggling with the whole trusting God thing. I remember some years ago preaching on the story of Abraham and Issac and the journey they made as father and son so that Abraham could sacrifice that which was most precious to him. Somehow I found myself saying that as a parent I simply could not do what Abraham was asked to do. The whole scenario of building an alatar, collecting the wood, getting the knife ready went through my mind and to be honest I knew my trust in God would not stretch that far. I even wondered what sort of God would want to put anyone to that sort of test. Yes I realise the key text is probably 'God will provide a scarifice' and that this episode prefigures the Cross but that may also raise questions in our present culture as Steve Chalke has discovered.

I am feeling a bit that God seems to be playing games with us at the moment - I can't go into details - but please pray for Sheryl and myself as we look to the future. Hope is a bit dim so maybe we could share a bit of yours O reader. As Rembrandt's sketch of Peter getting out of the boat shows vividly - we all need help when the water gets a bit choppy and feels as if it's going over our heads.

To Wetherby for wedding project. Gosh these Yorkshire clergy are a canny bunch. When I arrived, soon after things had got started, I could feel the tension in the room. Who are these 'experts' from London and what do they think they can teach us? To be honest it was quite refreshing to work with this. We learnt a lot and they all seemed to as well. By the end of the second day the atmosphere was great and we were really humming. On the idea of sending anniversary cards to wedding couples someone was heard to say: 'It makes a change from just remembering the dead each year.' Amen - let's have a system that remembers and prays for those who have been married amongst us.

One other issue emerged was whether there is a need to do a 'Christenings project'. I discovered that there is a blossoming market in secular naming ceremonies. Done at home, totally personalised and customised - yours £180! Anyone know about this?
I realise Christenings/Baptisms can be controversial but maybe we need to tap into this market and have a naming ceremony which uses as much symbolism as possible - even water! And we'll do it for free.

The Baptism service is fairly spirutally advanced in its language and the life implications and is not where most people are. Let's understand that we cannot 'christianise' people but we can in someway tap into significant experiences their life journey's. Let's resurrect that old folk concept of 'naming a child' and blessing a family.

I am struggling with trusting God at the moment at what I believe to be a significant point in my life. Help me to go with the flow as it were.

Off to Mirfield on Monday for next stage of weddings project. Girding up my loins to engage with another wonderful group of Yorkshire clergy.


  1. Not just naming ceremonies Malcolm, you might find this site interesting.

    As far as the the trust issue, no clever words just a willingness to hope for the two of you. x

  2. Thanks Tina

    I'll explore this site a bit more. Do you know of any civl naming sites maybe people who are doing this.