Sunday, 8 March 2009

Rest in the Lord

Just back from a wonderful Deacon's Weekend in the delightful setting of Hothorpe Hall. We had a very mixed programme - some great studies in the book of Habakkuk, a walk by the canal at Welford, an evening concert [what a talented bunch my friends are] times of worship and communion, eating bananas for Fairtrade Fortnight, planning worship for Sunday night, a games tournament [well done Dennis] and lots of time to chat and relax, and pray, and be quiet. The food was tremendous and the staff friendly and helpful. The other two groups sharing the conference centre were good people too and we were able to chat together at coffee times which was fun. As usual, only 50% of my pictures seem to have come out - but never mind. We cannot all be as gifted as Peter, whose natural history pictures - which he showed and talked about yesterday - were absolutely stunning!




The village of Welford boasts this large wooden sculpture of Postman Pat and Jess the Cat.


In our walk along by the canal we passed fields of lambs - lovely little things, both black and white!









These swans came alongside to see what we were about...







But the others ignored them and just kept plodding on...







A slightly unusual communion table - a candle, bread, wine...and bananas!

IM003271  IM003272











After lunch IM003273we had coffee then prepared to come home.

BTW, have you ever written a message on a banana using a ballpoint pen? It is an incredibly satisfying experience [try it and see] I persuaded a number of my friends to do it. Simon wrote a message on this one, which says "It's got lots of potassium" although that doesn't show up on the photo [should have got Peter to take this picture for me!]

I count it a real privilege to have spent the weekend with such lovely people, and together to share in God's grace. Thank you, all!

As part of this morning's session, we planned this evening's worship for church here tonight. The group I was in wrote a prayer, based on the words of Habakkuk, which we have interpreted in a modern context

Habakkuk cries “Why do you tolerate the treacherous, why are you silent while the wicked swallow up the righteous?”

And we cry “Lord, why is there still suffering, strife and starvation in our world?”

…Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour

Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vine…

Though the bank has lost our money and the pension fund has failed…

…Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour

Though the olive crop fails, and the fields produce no food…

Though interest rates have fallen and savings are worthless…

…Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour

Although there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls…

Though unemployment is high and livelihoods are disappearing…

…Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour

With Habakkuk we can say “the Sovereign Lord is my strength”

Like Habakkuk we believe that one day the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea. Hallelujah!

Amen to that - off to church now...

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