Monday, April 30, 2007

A thought for this week

This week's sermon, for your delight and delectation.

Or rather, as usual, the start, with more if you wish to follow the link at the end...

Easter 4 (2007) Year C RCL Principal

Feeling sheepish

In the songs that we sing in Sunday club and in our all-age services we sing a lot about animals, and a lot about what kind of Animals we’d like to be. There’s lots to do with ‘strong as a lion’ or ‘graceful as a bird’. There’s the great chorus ‘If I were a butterfly’ which contains the wonderful line ‘if I were a fuzzy-wuzzy bear, I’d thank you Lord for my Fuzzy-wuzzy hair’.

Anyway, the natural world has often inspired Christians to write hymns or poems that use images of animals to describe our human characteristics. But no-one, as far as I know, has ever written a song called ‘if I were a fluffy sheep’. Sheep are not the most inspiring of creatures, in lots of ways, for most people, but they remain an enduring image in the Bible, and are particularly used to talk about the believer, the one who seeks to follow God, as a sheep follows a shepherd. [more]


Nick said...

Well there's this:

I Am a Sheep by Dennis Jernigan

I am a sheep and the Lord is my shepherd
Watching over my soul.
My soul to keep guarding over me ever,
Watching wherever I go.

And when the winds blow He is my shelter!
And when I'm lost and alone He rescues me!
And when the Lion comes He is my victory!
Constantly watching over me!
He is constantly watching over me!

We are his children and he is our Father
Watching over our souls.
Great is His love for His sons and His daughters,
Watching wherever we go.

... oh and then there is the classic Graham Kendrick "I am a sheep, baa baa" the less said the better. Why is it that Graham Kendrick is simultaneously responsible for some of the most inspired and some of the cheesiest worship songs known to man?

I'm having fiendish thoughts now about the thorn in the flesh scripture...

Nick said...

Interestingly enough... God often speaks to me through eagles. I'll cite two examples:

Once I had a vision of a great eagle stripping its nest. Somebody told me afterwards that eagles do this so that their young will learn to fly... instead of clinging desperately to the rock.

It was God saying he was going to take away some of the stuff I surrounded myself with that kept me from flying with him. A lot of that has happened already... but I think it's an ongoing process.

I also believe very strongly that what was given to me was a microcosm... a smaller example of what God is doing in a wider sense. This is happening and going to happen to the Church in Britain.

I believe God is going to strip away various institutions and ways of thinking that we use as crutches and take unnecessary refuge in.

I have also heard two very similar parables about a man who stole an eagles egg and placed it in a chicken shed. The bird hatched and grew but spent it's days pecking in the dirt for grains... just like all the other chickens. One day a mighty eagle flew overhead and the eagle looked up. He asked the chickens what kind of bird it was... and the chickens said "He is an eagle, he belongs to the sky... you are like us, you are a chicken... we belong to the ground."

In one ending, the bird lives out his days as a chicken... in the other, the chicken folklows his instinct and takes wing joining his true family in the skies above.

Always been something to make me think about whether I am on the right road.

And then there's swords... but that is not connected in anyway to the animal kingdom... so I believe, a tale for another time.

God bless