He brought a wonderful poem for a summer’s morning, by e.e.cummings:
i thank You God for most this amazingI was also struck by the wisdom of the traditional morning Collect we also used, which perfectly addresses an age of anxiety. Anxiety, which is never understandable (“where is your faith?” asks the Lord) begets defensive and uncharitable attitudes tending towards Pharisaism. By their fruits you know them. The only alternative is faith in God, which begets an infectious, naturally missional love of “everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes”
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord,The press has been full of stories about the possibility of Dr Jeffrey John becoming bishop of Southwark. He was nominated as Bishop of Reading at the time I was as Bishop of Buckingham, and personally, I would have been perfectly happy to serve with Jeffrey as an episcopal colleague. His rule of life was, as far as could be told, entirely consistent with the discipline of the Church and still is. I’ve heard reactions from the pews since Sunday’s Telegraph story ranging from “Oh not again” to “this is a great opportunity to redeem a nasty injustice.” If Jeffrey were to be nominated, the reaction would be an interesting sign of how things have moved on, or not, since 2003.
in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life,
who service is perfect freedom:
Defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies;
that we, surely trusting in thy defense,
may not fear the power of any adversaries;
through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The only sane bottom line has to be that this is simply an appointment and if those whose job it is to discern the truth see in Jeffrey the gifts and calling to undertake the work (and most who know him and the Southwark diocese well seem to think these are pretty obvious), why, apart from steamy politics, why, apart from fear, wouldn’t they appoint the best person for the job?
pictures from the flower festival at Wingrave last week, with special thanks to Neil who organised it, and his team.