MInisterial Meanderings for 27th June - 3rd July
Some of you may have noticed that it has been a little warm of late. I have to say that 45C on our stoep is pushing it a bit for this country. It was hard enough in South Africa, and didn’t usually achieve these dizzy heights even then.
I hope that you are all finding ways of keeping cool - though by the time you read this, we may be into the next Ice Age and looking at penguins bathing in the pool at the Rec Centre! Such is the legacy of climate change, which certain persons of recent note below the 49th parallel denied was happening. Hey ho - there are still Holocaust deniers too, along with the flat earth society - but I trust that none of my lovely flock belong to these dubious sects. If you do, please come and see me; I have a dog who will be happy to discuss these issues with you.
I battled over to the vestry this last week with boxes and boxes of my theological library, which SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) said we had no space for - and of course, she’s right. Thankfully we have a fair amount of bookshelf space in the vestry, and I brought another bookcase over as well.
During the lack of unpacking that has ensued since, I did finally manage to unearth a favourite hymnbook of mine - Songs of Fellowship - which I hope to introduce to you in due course. Some of the songs/hymns in it will feature in zoom services in the near future - just to get you attuned, as it were.
I wanted to single out Hilary again for a big ‘Thank You’ for all her untrumpeted and almost hidden work in being our Cantor every Sunday. It is easy to notice our readers and intercessors each week - for which, much thanks is due too - but Hilary is quietly in the background, keeping our liturgy ticking over in the right way, and allowing us to join in, in our muted ways, at home by being our spokesperson. Hilary - thank you.
We have had a couple of ‘heat refugees’ come to take advantage of our air conditioning this week. One of them is a new friend from South Africa who has been here 27 years now, and amazingly lives in the same Strata complex as Graham, our Treasurer. The other refugees were our family from Maple Ridge in the form of daughter and two grandsons - oh, plus dog, of course.
We feel very lucky to have air conditioning, though it was short-lived on Sunday as we had a power outage - as I think others of you did too. A massive BANG as a transformer down the street blew up - but it returned after about 7 hours. However, it made for an uncomfortable night.
Thinking of the heat and looking at my exhumed old hymn book, I found a lovely song called ‘Purify my heart’. It sings of the ‘refiner’s fire’, and with the temperatures being what they are and have been, I feel that we have been fairly refined in the fire of our weather. But the song goes on to say, ‘I want to be holy, set apart for you Lord,’ - and that’s a whole different can of worms, isn’t it?
That sort of commitment isn’t easy to find in daily life as ‘Life’ tends to impinge upon us in the most distracting way. Being ‘set apart’ and ‘holy’ is asking us to be different - and that’s always going to take us out of our comfort zone. Being different and ‘holy’ doesn’t mean you have to be a sanctimonious pain in the arse, but dedicated and spiritual - making God your focus for all of your life’s endeavours - not just those you think He might approve of. Say ‘Hi’ to God when you wake up each morning and ask Him what the plans are for today; and if He doesn’t give you any, then ask Him to be with you in the plans that you made.
And if your only plan is to stay cool and rest, then that’s fine. Remember that Jesus needed to take time out too. He also would have understood the suffering of those made ill by the heat, so ask Him to be with you in your sweating and discomfort, and don’t be shy to ask for help from those who can give you some respite.
Don’t curse God for the climate change - we’re sadly responsible for it. Perhaps we are - whether we know it or not - in our Refiner’s Fire.