Turmoil and uncertainty all around. From the crisis in social care, to terrifying food, energy, and mortgage inflation; from government sleaze to the ‘invasion’ by the destitute and homeless; from children dying of starvation to personal rockets to the moon; from the Trumpeting of the end of democracy to the rise of nationalism and xenophobia; from corporate mega-profits to the extinction of the human race through catastrophic climate change: take your pick. We can find glimpses of goodness in the personal, but broaden out and there is injustice and injustice at every turn.
Job is devastated by a hurricane of disasters, yet still hopes. The Thessalonian church is persecuted and perplexed, but still believes. The Sadducees know talk of ‘life after death’ is utter nonsense, and for whom there is no ‘yet’ or ‘but’. In the midst of it all is the God who stills the storm by taking it all into his Son…
The Bewcastle Benefice sermon for the 3rd Sunday before Advent can be found here.
Morning Prayer with St Cuthbert – Day 42
Cuthbert’s body has been in the ground sufficiently long for the worms to have done their work, such that his clean bones may now be translated to the church in a new casket. But, terrifyingly, the monks find his body untouched, looking as if asleep, and his clothes bright and fresh.
Bishop Eadberht, carrying out his Lenten fast on the tiny St Cuthbert’s Isle just next to Lindisfarne, links the preservation of Cuthbert’s body with the resurrection (Jonah in the fish), being called by God to be his own (Israel in the desert), protection through the fire of judgement (Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego), and Christ’s second coming. This is no disembodied existence – the demonstrable link between the physical and the spiritual in the saint allows the power of heaven to break through.
Day 42 of Morning Prayer with St Cuthbert can be found here.