A READING FROM YESTERDAYS BEAUTIFUL WEDDING

“Union” by Robert Fulghum

 
This beautiful reading was read by the brides sister and when she had ended, she was greeted with a tumultuous round of applause, why you my ask, because she had managed not to CRY.
If this reading is before the vows (the first reading):
“You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” — those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another  — acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.
For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife
If this reading is after the vows (the second reading):
 
 
 
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” — those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you have just made are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another — acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you have said a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife

A FABULOUS WEDDING – My Sermon

Ruth 1:16-17

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 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

My sermon for Ricky and Melanie-Rose

 
One of the reasons why couples get married is usually,’Because they love each other!‘I hope each has said to the other,’I love you’,and that you’ll go on saying it often for the whole of your lives.
Marriage is built on love as its foundation.
Today Melanie-Rose  and Ricky   start a new chapter in their lives together, today they get a new blank piece of paper, the start of a new, the next chapter in their lives together. The title for this new chapter, a suggestion “Our wedding” today is the day, the day, 2  became one according to the laws of this land, they become husband and wife.
Now, the love that you have for one another is not perfect, because nothing in this world is perfect, but it is love, and with these vows that you exchange today, you are promising one another each other’s trust, love, fidelity, honor, respect, and commitment. Unfortunately, like all things we know, marriage is imperfect. As read earlier in the service, neither the state, nor God nor I can create this marriage, only the two of you. Marriage is not so much a promise to love one another as it is a promise of fidelity and commitment. However, it is that promise of fidelity that will allow you to nurture your love and grow together in relationship.
The text from the Bible you chose to have read comes from the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. The story goes that Naomi and her husband moved away from their own country to live as resident aliens while her two boys were still young. Eventually, her husband died, leaving her to raise her sons. They grew up and took foreign wives, and then they, too, tragically died. With nothing left to tie her to that land, Naomi kissed her daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah goodbye and headed back to her homeland in bitter sorrow and anger. Ruth, however, refused to leave her, vowing to stay with Naomi, even though Ruth would be a foreigner in Naomi’s land without a means of support. Ruth’s devotion to and love for Naomi, in spite of all the hardships it meant for her, is why the passage that Annie read earlier is so appropriate for our ceremony today.
Like Naomi, we are not always at our best, sometimes we are angry and sorrowful and nasty to be around, yet like Ruth, we continue to stick together for the sake of love. Ricky there will be days when Me  will annoy you to no end, and Mel there will be days when you are so angry with Ricky that you will not even want to speak to him. When those days come, remember Naomi and Ruth, remember your love for one another. Act out of that love always, doing only kindness even when you are angry or hurt, and your love will continue to blossom. mel and Ricky  today you are pledging your devotion to one another, in spite of whatever hardships you may face ahead of you, because you love one another, and that love is what calls you to this marriage. Remember to live in that love.
You both know as well as anybody that there will be hard times to come. You know that life is not going to be any easier than it has already been, and sometimes will be much harder. “Marriage is not a promise of how life will be, but a promise that it will not be lived alone.”  This marriage is going to be work, but it will be worth every tear, every drop of sweat that you put into it, because from now on, you are living not just for yourselves, but for one another, and it is is that relationship that will give you strength and courage. I have faith in the two of you, and I hope that you have faith in each other, that there is nothing ahead of you that you cannot face together.
I pray that  God richly blesses you in your life together.

THIS OLD BOAT

THIS OLD BOAT

This boat is laid up at West Bay ( where the TV series Broadchurch was filmed) in West Dorset.
West Bay is situated on the world heritage “jurassic coast”
The boat  is a photographers dream as it’s position provides the opportunity to photograph it from many angles.

The 5W ‘s – Wonderful Wandering Walk in Wayford Woods

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Wayford Woods is an  out of the way place in somerset, not a place you would just happen upon.A tranquil place, the silence is only broken by beautiful bird song and the sound of the occasional train. Paths go hither and thither, up and down adding an air of mystery. Oh how i wish I had worn wellies,they are a good bet for footwear at the moment. The colours there at this time are wonderful, from deep red rhododendrons to white with a hint of pink with carpets of bluebells everywhere. Tree buds are bursting forth, fresh vibrant green ferns are uncurling and the clear stream flows beside the path making a melodious tinkling sound according to my husband.
There is a secret, the little doors in the trees but don’t tell the children before you take them. There is even a playground for the fairies. HAVE FUN

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Easter Sunday Sermon

 Christ is Risen

 He is risen indeed

 Alleluia,alleluia

Last Sunday we heard of jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem with the crowds voices ringing with the words “Hosanna to the son of david”. on Thursday we remembered our lords last meal with his disciples and on Friday we read the passion according to Matthew where the words Hosanna changed to the “crucify him, crucify him” and now here we are on The day following the crucifixion a day that was a black for the followers of Jesus. Not yet realisingfully the truth of the resurrection, their hopes lay in ruins, Jesus the man who performed miracles ,who healed the sick ythe man who chose not to  run away and save himself. he chose humiliation he chose nails and the cross  he chose death to save us, to bring us back to God, healing our sins.
 the disciples they were on their own. Their Lord was dead. All that theycould do for him now was grant him a decent burial,so thewomen went to work preparingembalming spices with which to anoint the body.
Among the women were Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. With others they had travelled with Jesus on his journeys, takingcare of his day-to-day needs. They had followed him to the crossand stood beside him throughthe long day of hisdying, and had clung togetheras they shed tears of bitter grief.
According to some historians, Mary Magdalene and Mary ofBethany were one and the same. It is commonlybelieved that Mary Magdalenewas a prostitute though in fact no mention of this is found in any of the Gospels.She had been delivered by Jesus of ‘sevendevils’ – though this could also have applied to many that he encountered. Whateverthe facts, it seems certain that Mary Magdalene had found forgiveness and new life in Jesus, that she loved her Lord and had served him faithfully.
Now, heartbroken, early on the morning of the third day while it was still dark , Mary goes to the tomb to discover that  the stone has been rolled away.  The body she had come to tendis gone, so she does what I think we would all do and she runs for help, but to be honest the disciples that come don’t seem to provide much support, they looked saw that the body had gone and left. then  I ndespair, through her tears  asks the man standingoutside to tell her when i t has been taken.
At first she does not recognize his voice. may be her grief is so overwhelming that her senses are dulled, she is confused. It is only when he says her name “mary” that the she realizes to whom she has been speaking to all the time.
How many times have you walked along the street and uttered the words “oh ,sorry I didn’t recognize you”
I read a story the other day
a 6 yrs old girl was drawing a picture one day. her teacher said “what are you drawing”.the little girl said”I am drawing a picture of God”. The teacher was surprised and said”but do you know what god looks like”. the little girl carried on drawing and said “they will in a minute”
this morning morning prayer included the Song of Christ Glory
Christ Jesus was in the form of God, •
but he did not cling to equality with God.
  He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
and was born in our human likeness.
 Being found in human form he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him,
 and bestowed on him the name above every name,
 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth;
  And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father
Chris took on human, he became one of us.
 we, you and I are made in God’s image, so would recognize God if you meet him in      Bridport, of course you would.
He is in you, he is in the person sat next to you, in acts of kindness you receive, he is in the person who supports you in times of difficulty,
Isaiah  41.13  reading from the message
That’s right. Because I, your God,
 have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
 I’m right here to help you.’

HOLY TRINITY CHURCH,BOTHENHAMPTON.THE WONDERFUL ARTS AND CRAFTS CHURCH AT WHICH I EXERCISE MY PRIESTLY MINISTRY

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Holy Trinity Bothenhampton is built in  Arts and Crafts style and was Edward Prior’s first church.

He undertook an extensive study of local churches
and developed a sophisticated analytical approach
to designing the building, and a philosophy that sought
to build appropriately for its religious function.
The roof was the most radical feature of the church,
later forming the model for the great roof at Prior’s
masterwork at St Andrew’s Church, Roker.
Elements of Richard Norman Shaw’s influence remain,
particularly in the porch but Prior’s knowledge and
love of Early English church architecture in particular
dominate.
Prior was careful to use local materials,
selected with skill and handled with craftsmanship.
He was also able to develop furnishings and decoration
to provide a holistic design for the church and its fittings.
At Bothenhampton Prior designed the font, the altar rails,
the choir stalls, and chest, the doors.
The altar table was designed with William Lethaby
and executed by Augustus Mason.
All the furnishings were in English oak.
Lethaby designed the
altar front in gesso, with intertwined wild roses, leaves and stems.
A wrought iron chancel screen was added in 1895

Good Friday

The day is near, the time has come

Bread is broken, Wine is drunk
The deal is done, Fate has been sealed
Sealed with a kiss, the sign of love, no less
How times have changed, how people change
From cries of love, to cries of hate
The awaited one came, they couldn’t see
He healed, taught love but, still they did not see
Now time has passed, they’ve had their chance,
they chose their path
Hand are washed, backs are turned
The cross stands high, one of three, for all to see
Bang, bang, bang,
Nails,
one, two and three
The crown of thorns, to crown a king
Spills blood for sins He came to bear
The sky, it darkens
Father
Forgive , forgive, forgive
It’s over

BUT NOT THE END

Was Mary the first feminist.

Martha and Mary

            MARTHA AND MARY

                  PAINTED   BY

                CHRIS HIGHAM

 

“Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

 

Was Mary the first feminist and yes, Martha is vacuuming but did she want to sit a the feet of Jesus as well? and go against convention.

 

Why this picture, well it brings the story to today,                                                        a492b-marymarthacontemp

 
In Jesus time Martha would have been brushing and  today we use a vacuum, but that is where it ends. We still behave the same, always busy, distracted by the tasks of every day life.
Martha is distracted, preparing a meal for Jesus and his followers. she didn’t have the use of the mod cons we have to today ,the microwave or freezer. she couldn’t prepare the meal in advance given the hot climate. food had to be prepared and eaten straight away.
Can you imagine Martha getting more resentful as she works hard and Mary sits at the feet of Jesus, listening to his every word. I wonder is it because she wishes to be sat with Jesus or is it because as a female it is Mary’s duty as a woman to also look after the hospitality? Also Mary had crossed an imaginary line, she was behaving like a man. In that culture the house was divided into male space and female space, and male and female roles were clearly defined and this line shouldn’t be crossed. Mary had crossed it and Martha wasn’t happy. She was so upset that she demanded the Jesus make her sister help with the work.
His reply “Martha dear, you are fussing far too much and getting yourself worked over nothing” But  to Martha it wasn’t nothing, to Martha hospitality was important. After all, it was Jesus in their home and you feed your guest.
What is the first thing we do, we offer and cup of tea or coffee and maybe a biscuit or cake.I wonder would you want Jesus to turn to Mary and say “get up and help, do something”
The second part of Jesus’ reply “one thing only is essential and Mary has chosen it. It is the main course and won’t be taken from her”
Mary had chosen to listen, to take time to hear the words spoken by her guest, to hear his teachings, to contemplate on his words. Mary had gone beyond the business of serving to the service of contemplation.
Martha represents the active, women those who visit, extend hospitality, those who dedicate their time being Gods outward present, leading by example.
Mary a contemplative, stands for all those women who, when they hear Jesus speaking about the kingdom of God, know that God is calling them to listen carefully so that they can speak of it too. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus as his student, as   a would- be teacher and preacher of the kingdom of God.
Both active and contemplative are both important. Without, the first we wouldn’t eat and without the second we wouldn’t worship.
We should work hard ,but not too hard and should remember to to enjoy life that hes been given to us by the grace of God,too feel our place in the spirit. We should do the things we are called to do, no matter how difficult they are. At the centre of of this Mary/Martha or as I read  ying/yang is Jesus our Lord and Saviour – the person we should  spend time with when we can stop ourselves being  busy, for Jesus the reason we live life the way we do.
So was Mary one of the first feminist, I think she should be considered so. She crossed the line; she sat as the men did at the feet of the teacher,as a pupil to learn , as a would be teacher and preacher of the kingdom of God.
 
So what would you do, would you be doing the vacuuming or would leave it for another day and sit at the feet of Jesus. I know what I would do. Are you a Mary or a Martha ?

Peace I give to you

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Kempis taken from “Imitation of Christ”

Four Things that Bring Inward Peace
“My Son, now will I teach thee the way of peace and of true liberty.”
Do, O my Lord, as Thou sayest, for this is pleasing unto me to hear.
“Strive, My Son, to do another’s will rather than thine own.  
Obedience
Choose always to have less rather than more.                               
Self-deniel
Seek always after the lowest place,and to be subject to all.          
Humbleness
Wish always and pray that the will of God be fulfilled in thee.        
 Surrender

 Behold, such a man as this entereth into the inheritance of peace and quietness.

Good Friday

The day is near, the time has come
Bread is broken, Wine is drunk
The deal is done, Fate has been sealed
Sealed with a kiss, the sign of love, no less
How times have changed, how people change
From cries of love, to cries of hate
The awaited one came, they couldn’t see
He healed, taught love but, still they did not see
Now time has passed, they’ve had their chance, they chose their path
Hand are washed, backs are turned
The cross stands high, one of three, for all to see
Bang, bang, bang,
 Nails, 
one, two and three
The crown of thorns, to crown a king
Spills blood for sins He came to bear
The sky, it darkens
Father
Forgive , forgive forgive
It’s over
Finished 
But not the end