Giving and receiving

Interesting couple of days. Some random thoughts…

Sunday saw the first SEBA association meeting – a great event, well planned and executed, great sermon from David Coffey and all praise to the team – hope its the first of many.

One song got me thinking thought – it involved the concept of ‘holy ground’. I have long had a place that for me is holy ground. Every time I go there I know for certain that God will meet me there – I sense it as soon as I walk in. Even in the midst of depression, when I was struggling, God met me there and called me again to ministry. Sadly I will rarely be able to go there any more due to distance and this song made me long to find another ‘holy ground’.  It’s not that God can’t or doesn’t meet me elsewhere – God does but I have long valued somewhere where is is almost guaranteed! I know that is true of the sacraments but somehow, for me, it still isn’t quite the same. I pray God will lead me to that place or maybe God is trying to take me to a new place where I can experience holy ground in more transient places…who knows!

Yesterday was spent in London in a meeting with other faiths trying to put together a document that will help all those involved in catering for people of differing faiths. A minefield of huge proportions and very very complex – I learnt so much yesterday that I didn’t know before but am still left with many questions. How do you help caterers and buyers without stigmatizing particular faiths – how far do you go to meet the concerns of small groups within each faith – for instance Christians who refuse to eat either halal or kosher food on either scriptural or ethical grounds? The conversation was done with care and grace – careful listening was required.

The final thing was to wonder why we are so bad within the church at accepting gifts from one another – one sees a need and offers to help and is viewed with suspicion, or the receiver finds it hard to accept that gift – it has long baffled me – surely we are taught that supporting one another in spiritual, pastoral and practical ways is part of what makes us Christian? I know it is better to give than to receive but someone still has to do the receiving!

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