Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween Terrors

Do you want a really scary Halloween?

Do you want to call up a storm that will thunder through your home and make you fearful of your safety?

Do you want the night air to be filled with heart-stopping shrieks, blood-curdling moans and wails that make your flesh creep?

Do you want every door to slam with such force that the windows rattle and the china falls off the mantelpiece?

Do you have the courage to face the consequences?

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Ok. Hide your teenager’s smartphone*.

(*offer is valid on other days of the year, too).

Halloween

We’re not that keen on Halloween,
We think its over-rated.
And ethically this “Trick or Treat”
can surely be debated.

“Just fun for Kids” we hear you say,
“A harmless old tradition.”
Well, maybe so but dabbling low
may harm the soul’s condition.

Have fun of course, let laughter reign;
and celebrate with friends;
but think on good, and life and love,
and not that which offends.

All Hallows Eve – All Saints Day prior –
A festival of light
in memory of a billion souls
who lived, unknown, for right.

Nigel Carter

Where May She Be Found?

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Where, then, is Wisdom to be found?

In the fashions of the day,
whereby the new replaces the old,
art and culture are created, at the cutting edge,
and former things discarded,
even mocked?
May she be found here?
Well, perhaps a little.

In traditions long-established,
form and formula well-devised,
respected, revered, honoured;
a place for everything
and everything in its place?
May she be found here?
Well, perhaps a little.

In learning and deep knowledge,
researched and well documented:
empirical; measure it, log it;
if you can’t see it, it’s not there;
rational, thought deconstructed?
May she be found there?
Well, perhaps a little: or maybe a little more often.

In lines of laughter and tear,
the smile of welcome and costly love in her eyes;
holding her grief with dignity to her breast;
forgiving with her lips, understanding with her heart:
looking beyond the here, the now, the me; hinting of the Divine.
There she may be found
by those who seek her blessing.

Nigel Carter

Come to My House

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3 NRSV)

Jesus offers words of hope and encouragement to his friends at a time in their lives when they are, to say the least, somewhat bewildered about what the future may hold for them.

He is preparing himself for the dreadful ordeal of the cross, and he knows that he must travel this journey alone. They cannot follow him: not yet anyway. For the moment they will be helpless spectators.

There are times when most of us have felt like helpless spectators of events, especially at the time of the illness or even death of someone who is precious to us. We want it to stop. We want to put the clock back. We want somebody to do something! Our hearts are deeply troubled.

And Jesus offers us those same words of hope: “In my father’s house there is a place for everyone, and I’m going to get it ready for you.”

He just asks one thing of us: that we continue to believe; not so that we can be members of some special holy club, but so that we can see something of the bigger picture in the midst of our anguish; so that our hearts will be less troubled.

This is what Christians mean when they talk about “hope.” It’s not a matter of wishful thinking (as in “oh, I hope things will turn out for the best.”). No, true hope is about trusting in those things which we know to be true, but do not yet see accomplished.

True hope means trusting in the promises of Jesus, especially when life seems to be demanding that we don’t.

Jesus,
I hear your words of hope,
but sometimes I struggle to understand
that you intend them for me.
Help me,
especially when my heart is troubled,
to trust in your promises for me.
Amen.