Well, it’s been a couple of days. Thursday I simply conked out; we’d been to the school production of Cabaret, taken the lad’s girlfriend home (they’ve both been in the pit band) and I simply faded out with no brain left. Yesterday with the husband conked out at the end of his week of 5am starts to keep up with the workload, I did the Cabaret run and simply couldn’t face it afterwards with him snoozing happily at 11pm. I’ve never been great at late nights, and have always needed lots of sleep which I rarely get these days. I’m afraid however dedicated I might wish to be to God, Lent or blogging, the need for sleep trumps the lot. It’s also much easier to skip a second ‘thing you committed to do’ when you’ve already skived one.
Anyway, Graham caught up with his reflection on yesterday’s reading in Maggi Dawn’s “Giving It Up” here, but I’m jumping straight to today’s:
Listening to Craig Charles on Radio 2 just now he’s playing a re-working of the Happy Song that’s been so popular recently. “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth… Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…” What is it makes us happy, and do we really know and do those things that build us up?
Maggi suggests that as Jesus’ fame and fortune started to spread people were coming to him particularly for the quick fix of what they thought would make them ‘happy’ which was their immediate needs, illnesses particularly. Important those though might be to people’s well-being, when Jesus settles down to teach them what we know as the Beatitudes, he’s hoping to draw them into something that deeper, something that will give them a deep well of ‘spiritual’ happiness for much longer than the initial impact of any ‘cure’ God might of his grace give to those who suffer.
Maggi describes the God-given happiness that Jesus’ offered as ‘peace and confidence that God is with us’. Sometimes that’s the only thing that has kept me going through ordination training, alongside the endless advice and prayers of friends, and even then I’m not sure it’s really been ‘peace’ just a sense that I am within God’s care and he will see me through as this calling is ‘of him’.
I was only saying to Graham this morning as we enjoyed a walk on Farley Mount that what is probably one of my greatest worries regarding curacy is being able to offer the same transition that Jesus makes in this reading: from being a conduit of God’s care for people in representational and sacramental situations, to getting them to make deeper personal connections to faith in God. That’s something I’m not convinced ordination really equips you for, thinking instead that it can only be learnt through actually doing it, and that I’m sure involves trail and error, and therefore an understanding of God’s forgiveness within the ministers own life.
So, hopefully you’ll forgive me for my silence the last couple of days, and I’ll hopefully get back on track again from here through the coming (slightly quieter, for me at least) week. We’ll see; there’s essay research lurking.
Graham’s thoughts for today are here – great as usual.