Friday, 5 October 2018

One size ... and peace

I've really enjoyed taking weddings this year. There has been great variety, a mix of contemporary and traditional, and always a sense of meaningful fun. No two have been the same because each couple is different. Bookings are coming in for 2020

What suits one couple might really annoy another. I make sure they choose what's appropriate, and don't impose my tastes on others. Every couple has survived me trying to put them off getting married; most years some change their minds. Far better not to marry than tie the knot with the wrong person! One size doesn't fit all.

The same is true of energy. I might find rock folk music is balm for the soul, whereas you prefer panpipes or chants. Wouldn't it be boring if we had the same tastes. And what energises us changes over time. Those who have the gift of young children might say all they want is sleep. Teenagers might say they enjoy being on the cusp of adult tastes, while still enjoying childhood games and traditions. 

In our Ridgeway Churches there's huge variety of worship, so all of us can find spaces. There are interactive times: Family Friendly, CafĂ© Church, Messy Church, or Bible Study groups. Traditional services abound: Holy Communion, Matins, Evening Prayer. And there are short hybrid occasions: Candlelight Evensong, informal Communion. One size doesn't fit all.

Regardless of our different opinions about Brexit, let's remember the true dividend isn't the bottom line or GDP or national identity or political persuasion or so many other things. It's peace!

Last century more blood was spilt in Europe than ever. The symmetry and strange beauty of thousands of graveyards and millions of graves mock us, and remind us of so many young wasted lives. Many too were maimed in body or mind. Egos, party allegiance, personal opinion or upbringing must recede before the great gift of peace in our time.

Jesus went further, and put forward a vision of peace that runs deep into the soil of our being, and satisfies the soul. It's his peace that knows no end. I recall a dairy farmer in his last days. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to tell me, and waited. I want to be cremated, and I'm at peace. What a treasure.