On Sunday I quoted a Billy Joel song in my sermon – not sure it was much appreciated! The song was you’re my home and the line was “whenever we’re together that’s my home”. I was talking about Jesus being the way being in part about relationship.
I have called this blog glimpses from home because I grew up in the Diocese of Oxford, I was baptized and confirmed there and there is still a sense of home. When yesterday I saw a tweet from the Bishop of Oxford with this vision I had that longing for home feeling – contemplative, compassionate and courageous are words that I have brought with me from my Christian upbringing, I can articulate how each of them have been formed in me. I don’t always do brilliantly at courageous but as a virtue it is one that I really admire in others and are challenged by choices, actions, words. These words reflect the sort of home I find in relationship with Jesus, they shape and inspire me.
This is a picture of a cabinet in our spare bedroom – those things are always there, it is not especially posed for today. Today is 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. Twenty years ago we were sitting overlooking the sea at Portsmouth where veterans and the great and the good were gathering to commemorate the 50th Anniversary. We planned our holiday that year to be there as we wanted to honour the courage, sacrifice and vision encapsulated by that event. Early in our marriage we visited all the significant places related to Operation Overlord and even now tears come into my eyes as I think of so many people whose lives were changed for ever that our lives may be different. Evil does not seem to be too strong a word to talk about a regime that incarcerated so many people because of who they were completely unrelated to anything they had ever done. We are forever grateful that there were those who were willing to stand up to this evil.
I (Sally) was sitting in my car waiting to go into the convent where the Call the Midwife nuns live to talk about being a Curate with a full time job. I was listening to Steve Wright Love Songs and was struck by these lines in one of the songs “we’re all wonderful, wonderful people, when did we all get so fearful?” I was so struck that they are written on the bottom of the reflection I had prepared for the day which ironically was based partly around Isaiah 43 –
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will not be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you”. I have found that God has been faithful to these words which became very real to me in my early 20s. I have no idea what the intention behind the song was but it got me thinking and so I am blogging tonight rather than Paul.
The title of the post is the first line of the song I was listening to (Read all about it part 3 by Emeli Sande). I hadn’t heard that line, I discovered it when I checked out the lyrics after we got home. There’s a bit of me that believes that we have got the words to change a nation but that first we need to have the actions to match the words that we want to use. I love the affirmation of being “wonderful, wonderful people” but I have been around the block a few too many times to be able to say that in anything but an ontological way about the church as a whole although I know plenty of wonderful people in it. I think too that some of us have become fearful about talking about our faith, that our faith has become a little too privatized. If I really believe that God changes everything – and that is my personal experience, why am I sometimes fearful about giving my testimony, reticent about speaking about what God has done? I have been encouraged this weekend about the IF campaign and the number of people and organizations of faith who are behind this. There are so many ways our nation needs to be changed and having the courage to speak out is something I need to continue to work on.
Read all about it Part 3 Emeli Sande 2012
Songwriter(s): Peter Kelleher, Emeli Sande, Iain James, Ben Kohn, Tom Barnes
Copyright: Stellar Songs Ltd, Sony/Atv Music Publishing (uk) Limited