When I heard this question this morning my initial response was to say repentance. My logic was that to be forgiven you have to say sorry and ask for it. David one of our ministers said he did not think there was an occasion in the gospels that suggested that repentance was needed first. His logic was that forgiveness was always available whether repentance was asked for or done. It seems a point well made.
Yes we are told to repent and be baptised, we need to be forgiven to get right with God, go and sin no more Jesus tells the woman caught in adultery. It is not about our human logic, I will forgive you if you ask. But what is there first? It must be the nature of God, which is a gracious, loving, desiring and providing a way for humanity to be restored in relationship.
The reasonable conclusion is that the forgiving nature of God is what makes repentance possible. God is always desiring to be forgiving, God can be no other.
This week we visited a cottage in Trewint which is a small museum celebrating John Wesley and Methodism. On arrival we were invited in, offered refreshments and told the story of the cottage which included quoting the verse about entertaining angels unawares. The free refreshments derive from the original hospitality offered to Wesley’s team. I was delighted that the actions of one woman live on and that there are people who volunteer to tell the story which must have been passed on down the generations. Faith in action.
Holidays provide time and space to contemplate in a way which is not always possible at home. Wondering around galleries and exhibitions is one of the joys of time away. This statement was in Bude Castle.
It has been fun watching children play on holiday this week, unabandoned joy. We also heard a small child cry as they were being coached down a dark cramped lighthouse stairs . I found this prayer this week that I look forward to taking back to the hospital.
I hear no voice, I feel no touch, I see no glory bright; But yet I know that God is near, In darkness as in light. God watches ever by my side, And hears my whispered prayer. A God of love for a little child both night and day does care.
As with most things for children, we have a lot to learn from them. Amen
A young lad on a bike flagged us down as we drove along a narrow, windy Dartmoor road. Wait here he said – we are moving some sheep. Minutes later this was the scene! Lots of thoughts crossed my mind but am most taken with how we do or don’t go against the flow.
On Saturday we wemr to Buckland Abbey ans scattered around were pieces of Andrew Logan’s The Art of Reflection exhibition. This was one of my favourites. Cornwall has various places which interact withthr Arthurian legend and the sword Excalibur is part of that. For me the mystery of the lady in the lake is more exciting than a sword but images and stories nourish my imagination. The capacity to see yourself in so many of the pieces added to the challenge of the exhibition.
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The day before I came on holiday we were doing a session with some of our newly qualified nurses and we were thinking about how to deal with a bad day or week. We reflected around the question of how we can healthily decompress? At the beginning of a holiday it has been helpful for me to reflect on any need for me to decompress for the first few days.
I have spent a few days having breakfast out, lots of time by the sea, early nights and no work emails – my sort of decompression chamber. I feel better. Our prayer for you this summer is that you will find a way to wind down to make the most of your holidays.